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Superintendent's Message: Updated State Guidance Now Available

Thank you for your cooperation and support during our initial days of transition to non-required masking at school. We appreciate the support of our students, staff, and families in creating an environment that is respectful of individual choices.

The New York State Department of Health has issued updated guidance related to the removal of the state mask mandate. Though we continue to review these documents closely and seek clarification as needed, we would like to share the following key points:

  • Individuals who develop symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should stay home until tested. If they test positive, they should isolate for 5 days.
  • Individuals who have tested positive and return to the school environment after 5 days of isolation are required to wear a mask during days 6-10 following the positive test.
  • It is strongly recommended (not required) that individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 wear a mask for 10 days following the exposure.
  • If anyone in your child’s class(es) tests positive for COVID-19, you will receive a notification from the school.
    • This email notification will recommend (not require) that you test your child at home (using a rapid test) at least twice within the first 5 days after the exposure. It is recommended that you first test your child upon receiving the notification and a second time on day five.
    • The message will also recommend (not require) that individuals who are exposed to a positive case wear a mask for 10 days.
    • Additional details will be provided, and you can call your child’s school nurse if you have any questions.
  • Optional “pool” testing will continue to be available to students on a weekly basis.
  • All existing testing protocols, including the ability to test individuals with symptoms at school, will continue to be available to students and staff.

We have received a new supply of COVID-19 rapid tests from New York State. These tests (one box per student or staff member) are available for pick-up in each school’s Main Office. You may stop by to pick up a box for each student, or you may contact the Main Office to make other arrangements. We encourage the use of these rapid tests to identify positive cases and promote a healthy environment for our school community. Our health offices will also receive supplies of rapid tests to assist with our various testing programs.

We will continue to share more information as we receive clarification of the new guidance from NYSDOH. The full guidance document and an FAQ document are available on our school website at Midlakes.org/backtoschool2021. Thank you for your continued patience and support.

Sincerely,

Matt Sickles, Superintendent