New Test-to-Stay Protocols - January 14, 2022
Dear Orange-Ulster BOCES Community,
In an effort to continue to provide a safe and effective educational and work environment for our students and staff, Orange-Ulster BOCES will be implementing Test-to-Stay (TTS) protocols beginning Tuesday, January 18, 2022. This test-to-stay program works in conjunction with our newly updated shortened quarantine policies.
Following all guidance set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), students, teachers, and staff who are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series who came into close contact with someone positive for COVID-19 at Orange-Ulster BOCES may have the option to remain in the school setting while completing their five (5) day quarantine requirement.
Qualifiers for Orange-Ulster BOCES Test to Stay Policy:
a. Unvaccinated students and/or staff identified as close contacts of a COVID positive individual who remain asymptomatic may opt-in to the test-to-stay program. By doing so, all individuals who qualify will be asked to review, understand and sign an attestation/consent form.
b. The exposure must have occurred at Orange-Ulster BOCES and while both the person with COVID-19 and the exposed person were consistently and properly masked.
c. The exposed person remains asymptomatic; if the exposed person who is permitted to remain in school through TTS develops symptoms, they must be immediately excluded from school per current guidance.
d. Only students and/or staff who are unvaccinated AND deemed a close contact in SCHOOL will be permitted to participate in test to stay. We cannot provide testing at this time for students or staff deemed a close contact due to an exposure OUTSIDE of Orange-Ulster BOCES.
e. It is important to note however, individuals who are permitted to remain at school or work via the test-to-stay program should continue to follow the restrictions of quarantine at home or in public as recommended by the CDC/NYSDOH.
How will testing be performed?
a. Once a positive case has been identified, contact tracing will commence immediately to determine individuals exposed.
b. Once a contact log has been determined, vaccination status will be determined.
c. Individuals who are fully vaccinated may return to school or work following exposure if they are asymptomatic and must follow proper masking procedures.
d. Individuals who are unvaccinated and asymptomatic may opt in to test to stay (written parental consent required for children/students, staff may voluntarily consent).
e. Rapid Antigen Test kits will be sent home; testing will be conducted and all results analyzed prior to the school day and entry into the building. More information on testing requirements and test frequency will be provided once an individual is deemed eligible for the test-to-stay program.
I would like to thank you in advance for your understanding, cooperation and continued support in providing the best educational experience through these unprecedented times. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your school administrator.
Mark P. Coleman
Director of Operations
COVID Compliance Coordinator