A Shift in Contract Tracing Protocols

Good Afternoon,

I hope that all of you enjoyed the long weekend...  It was a glorious win for the Bills on Saturday and Mother Nature certainly left a mark on Sunday!

I am reaching out to relate information about a shift in contract tracing, effective this week.  

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has indicated that they will no longer be contact tracing potential COVID exposures for individuals. New York State has also given local health departments the ability to reduce contact tracing efforts. Ontario County Public Health (OCPH) provided feedback that students who have been quarantined due to an exposure on the bus or during breakfast/lunch have rarely contracted COVID from that exposure. Taking these factors into consideration, public health is moving forward in partnership with schools to continue to do cluster contact tracing when there appears to be multiple cases proportionate to a cohort in a particular setting.  In short: Rather than individual contact tracing, in the event that public health determines that there is a potential cluster of positive cases, a subsequent cluster investigation will ensue. For example:
  • Two identified positive COVID cases on a team of six athletes may constitute a cluster. A cluster investigation (contact tracing) may ensue.
  • Three identified positive COVID cases at a table of eight in the cafeteria may constitute a cluster. A cluster investigation (contact tracing) may ensue.  
  • Four identified positive COVID cases in a classroom of fourteen students may constitute a cluster. A cluster investigation (contact tracing) may ensue. 
Please Note:
  • Quarantine protocols are still required if there is a positive case in the home and the student/staff member is unvaccinated.  
  • Since contact tracing is no longer required for individual COVID cases, families of children who are exposed to a single positive case will not receive a phone call from the school, state or county. Families should communicate directly with their school nurse if they have questions about their child’s potential exposure.
  • As shared in a recent communication, if your student (or you as a staff member), tests positive for COVID, please notify your school nurse and fill out the county attestation form below.
  • If you or your child is placed in isolation or quarantine, you will need to go onto the Ontario County Public Health website and fill out a verification form to be entered into their system to obtain a release. 
As has been the case throughout our navigation of the pandemic, our situation and response to COVID in the public education setting is ever changing and rapidly evolving. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we forge ahead with this latest shift, specific to contact tracing. Please keep in mind that things may change at any time and that the district will continue to provide you updates as quickly as possible.  

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. Be safe and be well!

E. Bridget Ashton

Elizabeth Bridget Ashton
Superintendent, Honeoye Central School District
8528 Main Street
Honeoye, New York 14471
[email protected]
On Twitter: @EBridgetAshton
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