Updated COVID-19 Guidance

Alexander Wolff

Dear Families,

Earlier this week the Westchester County Department of Health adopted revised guidance for schools based on updated CDC and New York State Department of Health recommendations. The new guidance, which is outlined below, will be in effect for the Pelham Public Schools effective today, Thursday, January 13, 2022. 

Isolation After Positive Test When Asymptomatic

  • Students, teachers and staff who test positive for COVID-19 and do not develop symptoms must isolate for at least five days

  • The date the positive test was performed is Day 0 and Day 1 is the first full day after the specimen was collected

  • If they continue to have no symptoms, they may end isolation after five days, but must continue to wear a well-fitting mask in school, around others at home and in public until day 10. If they can not wear a mask when around others, they should continue to isolate themselves for 10 days. 

  • If they develop symptoms after testing positive, the 5-day isolation period should start over with Day 0 being the first day of symptoms.

Isolation After Positive Test When Symptomatic

  • Students, teachers and staff who test positive for COVID 19 and have symptoms should isolate for at least 5 days

  • Day 0 is considered the first date of symptoms and Day 1 is the first full day after their symptoms develop

  • They can end isolation after 5 full days provided they are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved (loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation). 

  • Once released from isolation, they must continue to wear a well-fitting mask in school, around others at home and in public for an additional five days. If they are unable to wear a mask when around others, they should continue to isolate themselves for 10 days. 

  • If they continue to have fever or other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of isolation, they should wait to end isolation until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved. They should continue to wear a well-fitting mask and contact their healthcare provider with questions.

Quarantine After Exposure to a Positive Individual

  • Students who are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series (two weeks after 2nd dose of Pfizer/Moderna or 1 dose of Johnson and Johnson) who are considered a close contact with someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for at least 5 days

  • Day 0 is considered the date of their last contact with the individual 

  • These individuals can remain in school by participating in the District’s Test to Stay program

  • Please note that the Test to Stay program allows students who are close contacts to remain in school only and quarantine rules still apply for activities outside the classroom setting, including extracurriculars and athletics. 

These changes in guidance will apply to students and staff members who are currently isolating or quarantined, however these individuals should not return to school until they receive clearance from their school nurse or another District staff member. 

We will continue to monitor and implement guidance from the local departments of health and will share additional updates as they become available. Lastly, we strongly encourage all students and staff to get vaccinated if you haven’t done so already and to receive a booster dose if you are eligible as doing so remains the most effective tool we have to prevent severe disease and further return the school environment to normal. 

Thank you for your help in keeping our schools safe and open. Please reach out to District COVID-19 coordinator Jackie Huezo if you have additional questions. 

Sincerely,

Dennis R. Lauro, Jr., Ed. D.

Acting Superintendent of Schools

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