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Superintendent's Message: District's COVID Designation Improves

MARCH 10, 2022 — Ontario County’s "COVID Burden" designation was recently updated from "High" (Red) to "Medium" (Yellow). This is great news as it reflects an improvement in our level of community transmission and hospitalization and, in consultation with the Ontario County Department of Health, enables us to update some of our COVID protocols.

Masking (No Change)

Masking at school is not required and remains an individual choice based on personal health circumstances and assessment of risk. Masking is only required during days 6-10 for individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19 and return to school/work after 5 days of isolation.

Required Weekly Testing of Unvaccinated Staff

Required weekly testing of unvaccinated staff members will transition from Quadrant “pool” testing to rapid Binax tests, administered on campus, beginning the week of March 14.

Optional Student "Pool" Testing

Optional Quadrant "pool" testing of students will end this week. Beginning the week of March 14, families who are interested in continued testing can do so through rapid home tests. If you are interested, please contact your child’s school nurse to obtain rapid tests.

Contact Tracing and Notification of Exposure to COVID-19

The New York State Department of Health is no longer contact tracing for the purpose of identifying exposures. Such contact tracing is not required of schools and places an unmanageable strain on our nursing staff. When NYSDOH was contact tracing, schools assisted with some levels of communication but were not primarily responsible for the process.

Based on updated NYSDOH practices, our consultation with the Ontario County DOH, and the recent designation of Ontario County as a "Medium burden" region, Midlakes will not engage in contact tracing and will no longer communicate known or suspected exposures.

Families are encouraged to consider masking and/or regular home testing if they are concerned about the risk of infection. The has District rapid COVID tests for families who prefer to regularly test their children. Tests are also available to staff.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we adapt to improving conditions and changes in COVID protocols, in consultation with the local health department. As always, we encourage the use of other protocols, such as good hand and respiratory hygiene, optional masking, and regular testing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We also encourage you or your child to stay home when feeling ill and communicate any changes in health status to our school nurses.

Sincerely,

Matt Sickles, Superintendent