November 10, 2021
Dear Canajoharie Central School District Family,
The following letter is in regard to COVID-19 as it relates to testing, quarantine and cases. In an attempt to decrease the impact on our students, we will be putting in place some possible options to assist families. We want to lower the amount of students in quarantine and get our students back to school on a regular basis.
In many instances we see students coming into school with symptoms and in turn then testing positive for COVID-19. When this occurs, the contact tracing and quarantine guidelines start to affect students who have been in contact with the positive case. If we can identify a positive test result early in the process, we can decrease the number of students who have to quarantine due to exposure. We ask that if your student is exposed to a positive case outside of school that they stay home until you receive information from a contact tracer. Additionally, we can help prevent quarantines and cases by doing the following:
- ) If your child is unwell and feeling any of the following symptoms: fever, sore throat, headache, cough, loss of taste and smell, do not send them to school. If you cannot obtain a COVID-19 test from your primary doctor or through other sources, the district can now offer that option if needed. We can do the same if a student comes to the nurses office during the day and is feeling sick. This would require parental permission before testing; the school will not administer a test without consent. If you have any questions please contact our COVID-19 coordinator, Mrs. Kari Scalzo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- ) Ensuring that masks are properly worn during school and that students keep 3 feet or more apart for less than 15 minutes for student to student and 6 feet apart for student to adult. If students maintain the distancing per quarantine guidelines and are properly wearing a mask, we would not have to quarantine the students exposed by a positive case.
- ) If you or your child has a COVID test pending or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive, please keep your child home until results are obtained or a contact tracer has made contact. If you have questions please contact the school. In the meantime keep your child home.
We need everyone’s help with this and to be more vigilant when it comes to assessing your child with symptoms and sickness. If we are more proactive we will lower our total number of students in quarantine.
In the coming weeks we will also be receiving a PCR COVID-19 Testing machine. Per our county guidelines, students can test out of quarantine (not the positive case – just the close contacts) with a negative PCR test on the fifth day of exposure/quarantine. Currently parents and guardians have to take their child to a location to obtain a test and in many cases it takes several days to get the result. This new resource will give us a result within 15 to 20 minutes. With parental permission, we can test quarantined students back into school. Once we have the new machine we will be reaching out to parents of affected students prior to day 5 of their quarantine to see if they would like to utilize this option.
Nothing pertaining to testing that is outlined in this letter is mandatory, but is an option for students and families. As we move forward we can hope with recent advances, we may soon see the beginning of the end of this pandemic. Right now though, our goal is to keep students in school and decrease exposure and quarantine as much as possible.
Dr. Nick Fitzgerald
Superintendent of Schools