DOH Guidance Received ~ Updates to COVID Related Quarantine and Isolation

Greetings,

As promised, we are reaching out regarding the updated New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) protocols for both isolations and quarantines. These reflect significant changes as to how we have been treating isolation and quarantine, so please read closely and keep in mind that these guidelines may change at any time (as we have experienced throughout our navigation of COVID). 

For Students & Staff Who Are Fully Vaccinated

  • If you test positive for COVID:

    • You need to be isolated for five days. This period begins with the day you started having symptoms, or, if asymptomatic, the day you tested positive for COVID.

    • If you are asymptomatic at the end of five days or your symptoms are resolving AND you are fever free for at least 24 hours, your isolation ends.

  • If you are exposed to someone with COVID:

    • No quarantine is required. Continued attendance applies to participation in classroom activities and taking the bus to and from school (see below). 
    • Regarding extracurricular or after school activities: Individuals 12 years and older who are eligible for a booster but not boosted, and who have been exposed to an individual with COVID-19, cannot participate in extracurricular or after school activities and, aside from school attendance for instruction and bus travel, must adhere to a 5-day quarantine at home. Fully vaccinated 5-11-year-old children are not eligible for a booster and have no further restrictions.
    • If symptoms appear, isolate and seek testing. Isolation ends when a negative test is obtained, otherwise, you must isolate as stated above.
For Students & Staff Who Are NOT Fully Vaccinated
  • If you test positive for COVID:

    • You need to be isolated for five days. This period begins with the day you started having symptoms, or, if asymptomatic, the day you tested positive for COVID.
    • If you are asymptomatic at the end of five days or your symptoms are resolving and you are fever free for at least 24 hours, your isolation ends.
  • If you are exposed to someone with COVID:
    • Starting with the date of your last exposure, you need to quarantine for five days or opt to participate in the test to stay protocol. As a reminder, the test to stay protocol still does not apply to unvaccinated individuals with at home exposures. Test to stay allows students to come to school, but they remain in quarantine the rest of the day and cannot participate in extracurricular activities until their full quarantine period ends. Outside the school setting, quarantine applies. 
    • If symptoms appear after an exposure to someone with COVID, isolate and seek testing. If the test is negative, you may continue with the Test to Stay or quarantining protocols, as applicable. Otherwise, without a negative test, you must isolate as stated above in the “If you test positive for COVID” section.

Important additional information:

  • Any staff member or student who qualifies for an early release from isolation / quarantine is required to wear their mask at all times and properly (unless eating). If they are unable to do so, they will be returned to their full, ten day isolation period.
  • Athletes still need a "return to play" document from their doctor if they had COVID. The American Academy of Pediatrics is not releasing students back to sports until day ten.
  • Staff members and student families must work directly with our school nurse, Marybeth Tonkery, to determine when an individual meets the criteria for an early release at any juncture between day six and ten. 
  • If an individual is released early from isolation or quarantine, they must (as best possible) eat breakfast and lunch at greater than 6’ from others in the school setting. 
  • Moving forward, if an individual is placed in isolation or quarantine, they must go into the Ontario County Public Health website and fill out a verification form to be entered into their system. This is a process other countries have been successfully using. Release from Public Health will occur only if this process has been completed. Links may be found here:
  • The school district is still expected to engage in contact tracing and share findings of potential exposures with public health so that they may determine if a quarantine is necessary.
  • Note: As of this writing, fully vaccinated does not include the booster.

We understand that this is a lot of information to take in. We are still making sense of it as a learning community and will continue to ask clarifying questions as they surface. Our school nurse, Marybeth Tonkery, has been an invaluable resource for HCS throughout this pandemic and will continue to serve a vital role. Please feel free to reach out to her with questions/uncertainties about the new guidelines.


As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions about this information or otherwise. Thank you for your continued support of the district and our work in advocacy for HCS students. There is no place like Honeoye... Be safe and be well! 

Sincerely,
E. Bridget Ashton

Elizabeth Bridget Ashton
Superintendent, Honeoye Central School District
8528 Main Street
Honeoye, New York 14471
Bridget.Ashton@honeoye.org
On Twitter: @EBridgetAshton