Monday, December 13, 2021
Dear DCS Community:
The CDC, New York State Department of Health, and Schenectady County Public Health Services (SCPHS) have provided school districts with new guidance with regard to testing and quarantine requirements. These changes are listed below. Please note that these changes do not include so-called “Test to Stay” provisions, which other counties in the state have been piloting. As always, please let me know if you have any questions regarding these changes.
7 Day Test Out of Quarantine Pilot
SCPHS has initiated a pilot that would allow asymptomatic individuals to “test out” of quarantine early. In a best case scenario, this option has the potential to reduce the quarantine period by three days.
Asymptomatic students and staff who have been quarantined as a result of close contact with a positive individual may take an antigen test (such as a BinexNow rapid test) or PCR/NAAT test (such as the Quadrant pool test) no earlier than on Day 5 of quarantine. If this test is negative, the individual may return to school on Day 8 while continuing to monitor for symptoms.
These tests may be taken for free via drive-up testing at either of our schools with an appointment until our supply is exhausted or independently at another testing facility. Please note that the district has very limited rapid antigen test supplies and only provides PCR testing on Monday-Thursday. PCR tests are sent out to labs and results typically take 2-3 days.
Negative Rapid Antigen Tests Now Accepted to Return After Symptoms
Anyone who has experienced COVID-19 symptoms may now return to school with a negative rapid antigen test once symptoms have resolved regardless of vaccination status. These tests may be taken for free via drive-up testing at either of our schools with an appointment until our supply is exhausted or independently at another testing facility. Home tests are not allowed for this purpose at this time.
COVID-19 Patients Exempt From Testing and Quarantine for 3 Months after Recovery
Anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 is now exempt from quarantine and testing requirements for extracurricular activities for 3 months from the date of return.
Jim Niedermeier, Ed.D.