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COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Information and Resources for Parents, Students and Employees

Below please find news, links and resources for COVID-19. Updates will be posted here as they are made available.   

NYS Covid-19 Report Card

View the OU BOCES Covid-19 Report Card.

COVid-19 Updates


Based on CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools and the American Academy of Pediatrics (July/August 2021) and the NYSED Health and Safety Guide for the 2021-2022 School Year (August 2021)

Return 2 Learning Video

Hope Starts Here Here 1-800-832-1200
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
Red Nacional de Prevencion del suicidio 1-888-628-9454


Media Resources




Orange-Ulster BOCES will have a mixed population of both people who are fully vaccinated and people who are not fully vaccinated. Elementary schools primarily serve children under 12 years of age who are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine at this time. Other schools may also have students who are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Schools may have a low percentage of students and staff fully vaccinated despite vaccine eligibility. These variations require Orange-Ulster BOCES administrators to make decisions about the use of COVID-19 prevention strategies in their schools to protect people who are not fully vaccinated.

Together with local public health officials, school administrators at Orange-Ulster BOCES will consider multiple factors when making decisions about implementing layered prevention strategies against COVID-19. Decisions will be based on the school population, families and students served, as well as their communities. The primary factors to consider include:

  • Level of community transmission of COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the community and among students, teachers, and staff.  COVID-19 outbreaks or increasing trends in the school or surrounding community.
  • Ages of children served by K-12 schools and the associated social and behavioral factors that may affect risk of transmission and the feasibility of different prevention strategies.

Prevention Strategies:

  1. Vaccination Awareness
  2. Consistent and Correct Mask Use
  3. Physical Distancing
  4. Ventilation
  5. Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
  6. Staying home when sick and getting tested
  7. Screening
    a. Contact tracing, in combination with isolation and quarantine
  8. Close Contact
  9. Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Case
    a. Emergency Response
    b. Isolation
    c. Covid-19 Testing
    d. Returning to Work and Following Illness
    e. Pertinent Exposure Returning to School f. Following COVID-19 Diagnosis and Subsequent Isolation Period
    Vaccinated Individuals or Previous COVID-19 Diagnosis
  10. Cleaning and disinfection

These COVID-19 prevention strategies remain critical to protect people, including students, teachers, and staff, who are not fully vaccinated, especially in areas of moderate-to-high community transmission levels.

1. Vaccination Awareness

Achieving high levels of COVID-19 vaccination among eligible students as well as teachers, staff, and household members is one of the most critical strategies to help Orange-Ulster BOCES safely resume full operations.

Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are at low risk of symptomatic or severe infection. A growing body of evidence suggests that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are less likely to have an asymptomatic infection or transmit COVID-19 to others than people who are not fully vaccinated.

OUBOCES will encourage vaccinations among teachers, staff, families, and eligible students by providing information about COVID-19 vaccination, encouraging vaccine trust and confidence, and establishing supportive policies and practices that make getting vaccinated as easy and convenient as possible.

Vaccine Awareness Information:
  • OUBOCES will direct staff and students upon request to to find out where teachers, staff, students, and their families can get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the community and promote COVID-19 vaccination locations near schools.
  • OUBOCES will offer flexible, supportive sick leave options (e.g., paid sick leave) for employees to get vaccinated or who have side effects after vaccination.
  • OUBOCES will provide students and families flexible options for excused absence to receive a COVID-19 vaccination and for possible side effects after vaccination.

2. Consistent and Correct Mask Use

All OUBOCES teachers, staff, and students should consistently and correctly wear a mask to protect others as well as themselves. Consistent and correct mask use is especially important indoors and in crowded settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

  • Indoors: Mask use at Orange-Ulster BOCES is required for all students, teachers, and staff regardless of vaccination status.
  • Outdoors: In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors, unless in crowded settings or where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Based on the needs of the community, Orange-Ulster BOCES school administrators have opted to make mask use universally required (i.e., required regardless of vaccination status) in the school. Reasons for this are:

  • Increasing or substantial or high COVID-19 transmission within the surrounding community.
  • Increasing community transmission of a variant that is spread more easily among children and adolescents or is resulting in more severe illness from COVID-19 among children and adolescents.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends universal masking in school at this time for the following reasons:

  • A significant portion of the student population is not eligible for vaccination.
  • Protection of unvaccinated students from COVID-19 and to reduce transmission.
  • Continued concerns for variants that are more easily spread among children, adolescents, and adults.
  • An added benefit of universal masking is protection of students and staff against other respiratory illnesses that would take time away from school.

When masks are worn by teachers and school staff in the workplace, the masks should meet one of the following criteria:

  • CDC mask recommendations
  • ASTM International Standard Specification for Barrier Face Coverings
  • NIOSH Workplace Performance and Workplace Performance Plus masks


Although Orange-Ulster BOCES does not manage transportation for our students, the CDC’s Order regarding masking applies to all public transportation conveyances including school buses. Passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses, including on buses operated by public and private school systems, subject to the exclusions and exemptions in CDC’s Order.

3. Physical Distancing

OUBOCES will follow CDC studies from the 2020-2021 school year, CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask wearing to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully reopen while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies. Prevention strategies may include indoor masking, screening testing, cohorting, improved ventilation, handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when sick with symptoms of infectious illness including COVID-19, and regular cleaning to help reduce transmission risk.

Cohorting If Needed: Cohorting means keeping people together in a small group and having each group stay together throughout an entire day. Cohorting can be used to limit the number of students, teachers, and staff who come in contact with each other, especially when it is challenging to maintain physical distance, such as among young children, and particularly in areas of moderate-tohigh transmission levels. The use of cohorting can limit the spread of COVID-19 between cohorts but should not replace other prevention measures within each group.

4. Ventilation

Improving ventilation is an important COVID-19 prevention strategy that can reduce the number of virus particles in the air. Along with other preventive strategies, including wearing a well-fitting, multi-layered mask, bringing fresh outdoor air into a building helps keep virus particles from concentrating inside. This can be done by opening multiple doors and windows, using child-safe fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows, and making changes to the HVAC or air filtration systems. Orange-Ulster BOCES encourages teaching staff to keep in-place HVAC/H&V units in the on-position, and open windows when safe to do so to encourage the introduction of fresh air to student occupied spaces. Orange-Ulster BOCES has increased the amount of fresh air being introduced into the systems that provide HVAC to our facilities where available. Filtration has also been improved in areas that can accommodate more enhanced filtration.

During transportation, bus operators can open or crack windows in buses and other forms of transportation, if doing so does not pose a safety risk. Keeping windows open a few inches improves air circulation.

5. Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette

Staff, Students and visitors at OUBOCES will be encouraged to practice handwashing and respiratory etiquette (covering coughs and sneezes) to keep from getting and spreading infectious illnesses including COVID-19. OUBOCES can monitor and reinforce these behaviors and provide adequate hand washing supplies.

  • OUBOCES will provide resources to remind everyone in the facility to wash hands frequently and assist young children with handwashing.
  • OUBOCES will provide hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol (for teachers, staff, and older students who can safely use hand sanitizer).
  • OUBOCES will provide hand washing stations at the entrances to our facilities.

6. Staying Home When Sick and Getting Tested

OUBOCES students, teachers, and staff who have symptoms of infectious illness, such as influenza (flu) or COVID-19, should stay home and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care. Staying home when sick with COVID-19 is essential to keep COVID-19 infections out of schools and prevent spread to others. It also is essential for people who are not fully vaccinated to quarantine after a recent exposure to someone with COVID-19. OUBOCES will allow flexible, non-punitive, and supportive paid sick leave policies and practices that encourage sick workers to stay home without fear of retaliation, loss of pay, or loss of employment level and provide excused absences for students who are sick. CDC guidance provides that people who are fully vaccinated and do not have COVID-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine or get tested after an exposure to someone with COVID-19.

7. Screening


Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Information


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