COVID-19 Health Status & Response Level Update 2/27/22
I hope everyone had a good break! Late Friday afternoon, the CDC released updated guidance that removes their recommendation for a universal mask mandate in school and on our buses. They indicate a new metric system that evaluates cases within a community on low medium-high ratings. Currently, Livingston County is at a medium level which allows for choice with wearing masks in school and on our buses. This afternoon, after much urging and advocacy from education groups in Albany, indicated that NYSDOH would lift the mandatory school mask mandate starting Wednesday, March 2. As superintendents, we were informed this afternoon that additional guidance will be issued from NYSDOH later tomorrow afternoon/evening. So, as has been the pattern, we move from headlines to guidelines (late tomorrow), to reality (by late Tuesday for Wednesday implementation). At this point, I'm confident that we will have a family choice for mask-wearing starting Wednesday, March 2.
It is important to acknowledge that there are very diverse opinions regarding wearing masks as a COVID-19 mitigation measure. We will support family decisions on Wednesday to stop wearing a mask in school or to continue wearing a mask in school or to wear masks sometimes in school and not at other times. As we make this next transition through the pandemic, we will continue to put people first and support your family's decision on Wednesday. Again, starting Wednesday, March 2 families may decide whether their student(s) should continue to or stop wearing a mask while at school and on the bus. Our staff will also have the choice starting Wednesday. Please take time over the next few days to consider the best choice for your family and reach out to us if you have questions.
Also, a quick reminder of the current LCDOH COIVD-19 Protocol for Schools continue to be in place:
- if you have any COVID-19 Symptoms, please stay home!
- ALL positive cases will have an initial 5 Day Isolation period
- any close contacts who are vaccinated and asymptomatic may proceed without quarantine
- any close contacts who are unvaccinated and asymptomatic will be eligible to enter the Test-to-Stay (TTS) protocol which will provide tests for students on Days 0-3-5 which with negative results students may continue attending school without quarantine
Links of interest:
- video link - https://youtu.be/brZeZx6U-mE
- slide deck link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FDF28nPP3pQj8LBDXJqqc7mDb640LuXc/view?usp=sharing
- CDC Updated Recommendations - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/community-levels.html
- Governor Hochul's Press Conference Today - https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=LwnOH86y5AA
- COVID-19 School-based Protocols - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FF1TALo_WFu74FvIJOLdX-YDd-EPc9rb/view?usp=sharing