Coping with COVID-19

  • COVID Mitigation Requirements - 04.29.22 - Please review the latest update to our COVID-19 Mitigation strategies for updated information on the latest requirements, etc. - click HERE.

    Saratoga County COVID testing site moves –The Saratoga County Public Health Services announced that the Community Testing Site in Malta has moved to the County Public Safety Building at 6012 County Farm Road in Ballston Spa. Quadrant Biosciences will now provide testing at the new location on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon.  Appointments are required. To schedule online, visit the Saratoga County website. Click on the COVID-19 Testing button and then the “Testing in Saratoga County” button.

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    FAQ on Changes to District COVID-19 Protocols (updated 03.04.22 - 2pm)

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    March 1, 2022: This information will be updated as soon as we receive updated guidance from NYS and/or Saratoga County Public Health related to the lifting of the mask mandate in schools, which goes into effect on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. 

    _FAQ on Changes to NYS Mask Mandate effective March 2nd - 030122

     

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    UPDATED Information - January 19, 2022 

    • If your BSCSD child tests positive for COVID-19, please notify us as soon as possible at COVIDreport@bscsd.org and Saratoga County Public Health Services at https://www.saratogacountyny.gov/departments/publichealth/covid19/isoquar/positive/ 

    • Saratoga County is allowing approved antigen rapid tests to be used in place of a lab-based antigen or PCR test with a negative result that allows a student/staff member to stay in school or return to school, depending on the circumstances detailed in the January 7, 2022 District Update.

    • Home Tests
      New for Saratoga County, they are now accepting home tests (positives only) for new cases. If you take an at home test and it is positive, please go to the website below to click on the “Report Positive COVID-19 Self-Test”. Home Tests are only being accepted for positives; negative home tests are not acceptable for reducing to a 7-day quarantine at this time.
      https://www.saratogacountyny.gov/covid/covid-19-testing/

    • Community Testing
      Saratoga County has opened a new community testing location in Malta. The partnership is with Quadrant Biosciences and uses saliva swabs. Appointments are required and can be made by visiting the website below and clicking on “Saratoga County Testing Site in Malta”:  https://www.saratogacountyny.gov/covid/covid-19-testing/

    Health and safety guidance from the State and Local Health Departments related to COVID-19 continues to evolve. Given the significant increase in positive cases, NYS is moving from focusing on contact tracing and positive case management to keeping sick students and staff home through aggressive testing. As always, we remain committed to keeping our students in school, while providing a safe learning environment for all. We also remain committed to providing staff and families with clear, updated information on the latest guidance as it relates to COVID-19 testing, quarantining and isolation.

    Effective immediately, the Ballston Spa Central School District will use the following protocols when allowing students to return to school if they:

    1. Are exposed to an individual with COVID-19,
    2. Test positive for COVID-19, or
    3. Have symptoms of COVID-19.

    These protocols are based on the most recent updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health and Local County Health Departments. Please know that this information is subject to change at any time. If you have specific concerns or questions regarding your child, please contact your child’s school.

    One of the biggest changes you can expect is that the New York State Department of Health will no longer conduct contact tracing. This means that individuals potentially exposed to COVID-19 will no longer be contacted by their Local Department of Health. As a result, with certain exceptions noted below, the district will no longer be collecting information about close contacts to report to County Health Departments. However, we will continue to notify impacted staff and families if we learn about a positive case. In some situations, this will involve a general notification alerting staff and families that there was a positive case in a particular class or school. This type of notification will ask staff and families to monitor for symptoms, but will not necessarily result in anyone being identified as a close contact and excluded from school.

    Exceptions: Please note that there will be situations when the need to identify close contacts is warranted due to a direct COVID-19 exposure. Particular attention will be paid to:

    • staff and students at high-risk for severe disease.
    • situations where there may be fewer layers of mitigation in place such as classes with students who are unable to wear a mask due to a documented medical issue and/or disabilities; cafeterias and classrooms during breakfast/lunch; and classrooms/clubs/teams where there is evidence of the virus spreading.

    These situations may result in a student or staff member being excluded from school and asked to stay home and quarantine for at least five and up to 10 days.

    Based on the latest information we have, here are the updated protocols for the three most common scenarios:

    1.   If a student has been exposed to COVID-19:

    • If a student is up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, as defined by the CDC they may come to school.
    • If a student tests positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, they may come to school.
    • If a student is not up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations and has not tested positive in the last 90 days, they will be excluded from school for at least five days after their last close contact with an individual with COVID-19. For example:
      • Day 0: Date of exposure,
      • Day 1: Stay home,
      • Day 2: Stay home,
      • Day 3: Stay home,
      • Day 4: Stay home,
      • Day 5: Stay home,
      • Day 6: Return to school as long as no symptoms have developed.

    If a parent chooses, students in this situation are eligible for participating in Test-to-Stay and you will be contacted by your child’s school to discuss this option and the requirements. It is important to note that students who are NOT up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations and who do Test to Stay are not eligible to participate in extracurricular or co-curricular activities.

    • All individuals should wear a well-fitting mask while around others (e.g., at home, in public) for a full 10 days following the date of exposure.
    • If a student tests positive for COVID-19 at any time, including following an exposure, please review the following guidelines that apply:

    2.   If a student tests positive for COVID-19:

    • Please notify the District at COVIDreport@bscsd.org and Saratoga County Public Health Services.
    • Regardless of vaccination status, if a student tests positive for COVID-19 they must isolate for a full five days. Students may return to school after day five if they are asymptomatic or if symptoms are resolving. For example:
      • Day 0: Symptom onset or tested positive.
      • Day 1: Stay home
      • Day 2: Stay home
      • Day 3: Stay home
      • Day 4: Stay home
      • Day 5: Stay home
      • Day 6: Return to school if asymptomatic, or if symptoms are resolving.
    • In order for students who have tested positive and have had symptoms to return to school after five days, they must:
      • Be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
      • Have no runny nose.
      • Have no more than an infrequent, nonproductive cough that is not getting worse. Students with a cough must be able to tolerate continuous mask use as breaks are not allowed.
      • Have not experienced excessive or unusual fatigue.
      • Have no persistent headache or muscle aches.
      • Have no nausea, diarrhea or vomiting for at least 24 hours.
    • All individuals should wear a well-fitting mask while around others (e.g., at home, in public) for a full 10 days following the first day of symptoms (or the date of a positive test, if the student is asymptomatic).
    • Anyone who is moderately or severely immunocompromised should follow the standard 10-day isolation guidance issued previously.

    3.   If a student has COVID-19 symptoms:

    There may also be times when a student has COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

    • Regardless of whether or not there is a known exposure to COVID-19, it is very important that students who are sick do not attend school.
    • Regardless of vaccination status, if a student has COVID-19 symptoms they must have a lab negative NAAT, lab antigen test, or two negative Over-the-Counter (i.e., at-home or take-home) antigen tests taken 36 hours apart, in order to return to school. Your child’s school nurse will discuss your child’s symptoms and next steps with you.
    • If parents/guardians are presenting the District with two negative Over-the-Counter antigen tests, they must also present a signed attestation form (see below).
    • In addition to a negative test result(s), students must be well enough to:
      • Participate in school;
      • Not have rhinorrhea (runny nose) or cough severe enough to make mask wearing difficult or unhygienic;
      • Be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication; and
      • Meet other school or District requirements to return to school after a non-COVID-19 illness.
    • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, please follow the guidance above.
    • Please also note:
      • Students with symptoms that are attributable to pre-existing medical conditions (e.g., migraines, allergies) and are not new or worsening do not require school exclusion or testing.
      • If a healthcare provider makes a diagnosis of a confirmed non-COVID-19 acute illness (e.g., laboratory-confirmed influenza or strep throat) AND COVID-19 is not suspected, then a note signed by the healthcare provider explaining the alternate diagnosis may be provided to allow a student, teacher, or staff member to participate in school without COVID-19 testing.

    Thank you for your continued partnership as we work to keep our students and staff healthy, and our students and staff in school. If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 testing or other health and safety protocols, please do not hesitate to contact us at Covidreport@bscsd.org.  Updated (01.20.22)

     

    Parent Attestation OTC Antigen Test Results - 01.20.22

     

     

    New York State Vaccination Resources:
    COVID-19 Vaccines for School-Aged New Yorkers

    Details pertaining to School Reopening:
    School Reopening

    Please see the Ballston Spa CSD Mental Health Resources webpage for additional information - click HERE - or contact a school counselor.