COVID-19 Resources » COVID-19

COVID-19

January 21, 2022

Dear Morristown Community:

As many are aware, health and safety guidance from the State and local health departments related to COVID-19 continues to evolve.  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, quarantine, and isolation. The New York State Department of Health, in compliance with CDC recommendations, has determined that schools no longer need to perform contact tracing for positive individuals.  The Board of Health for St. Lawrence County Public Health has notified us that they have now also adopted these guidelines.  It is important to note that contact tracing is not the same as quarantine, and all recently-updated quarantine requirements and protocols are still in place for schools across the State.  

This means that individuals potentially exposed to COVID-19 will no longer be contacted by the Department of Public Health. Going forward, we will no longer be collecting information about contacts to report to Public Health, except for limited circumstances.  Parents will be responsible for notifying the school about any exposures that occur outside of the school setting.  Please be mindful of sending your child to school after an exposure and ensure they do not meet the quarantine guidelines (https://stlawco.org/Departments/PublicHealth).

One of the keys to ensuring the success of this new approach is rigorous symptom monitoring.  Given the large number of positive cases in our region, the safest assumption is that we are all exposed on a fairly regular basis and as such should be mindful of any COVID-associated symptom.  Please contact Mrs. Thibert or Ms. Vaughn if any additional home tests are needed, and we will provide them so long as our supply remains consistent.  

Any student with symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, must have a negative lab PCR test, lab antigen test, or two negative over-the-counter antigen tests (taken 24-48 hours apart depending on manufacturer instructions) in order to return to school.  

We will continue our due diligence with regard to notifying 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.  We encourage you to visit our District website for additional information regarding the updated guidelines for exclusion from school and school-related events.

The updated guidance shared last week regarding isolation and quarantine protocols, including the shortened time frames remain in effect.  The linked chart and guidance are very helpful in understanding the new protocols: Quarantine/Isolation Protocols  Isolation/Quarantine Guidance

We are hopeful that this new approach strikes a solid balance of keeping our students in school while staying committed to the overall health of our students and community.  Please feel free to contact Mrs. Thibert or Ms. Vaughn if you have any questions.  

We understand that these changes may generate confusion among our District community.  We assure you that we will continue to provide support as we transition to these new guidelines.  In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding COVID-19, we encourage you to reach out to Mrs. Thibert or Ms. Vaughn. 

This webpage is being maintained for the purpose of communicating important updates and information regarding COVID-19. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus that had not been previously identified in humans.

The virus causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever and in more severe cases, pneumonia. 
 

Reopening

 
 

At Home Testing FAQ’s

 

What should I do if I have a positive at-home test result?

 

On the same day that you test positive:

Step 1:

 

OR

 

  • If unable to complete online submission:
    • Call the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department at 315-386-2325 or email [email protected]
  • Be sure to indicate name, test date, where the test was purchased, brand, and lot number in your message.

 

 

 

Step 2: Take a photo of the test before throwing it away. Send the photo to SLC Public Health via text at (315) 454-2363 or via email at [email protected]. Be sure to include the individual’s name, date of birth, phone number, and test date. 

 

Step 3: Notify our school district by emailing Carolyn Thibert at [email protected]

 

Step 4: Self-Isolate.

 

*With Either Method*:

  • You may be contacted by St. Lawrence County Public Health or the NYS Contact Tracing Team (518-387-9993) to complete the interview.
  • The COVID-19 positive individual should self-isolate at home and away from other household members, if possible. If separation is not possible, those with repeated exposure may be subjected to a longer quarantine period.
    • For anyone living in the household:
  • Unvaccinated household members should begin to self-quarantine now. 
  • Household members who are up to date on their vaccine series will only need to quarantine if they are experiencing symptoms.
    • Up to date means completion of primary series or booster if eligible.
    • Students/staff of schools may continue to attend in-person instruction if they do not have a booster as long as they have received the primary series.
 

You should expect to receive a phone call from Public Health or the NYS Contact Tracing team for an interview. The call may come from 518-387-9993. This may take a few days due to the high volume of cases in our area.

 

What does “self-Isolate” mean?

 

According to St. Lawrence County Public Health, a COVID-19 positive individual should “self-isolate” at home and away from other household members, if possible. If separation is not possible, those with repeated exposure may be subjected to a longer quarantine period.

 

For anyone living in the household:

  • Unvaccinated household members will be required to quarantine and should begin to self-quarantine as soon as they are made aware of the positive test result.
  • Fully vaccinated household members, at least 14 days from their final dose at the time of exposure, will only need to quarantine if they are experiencing symptoms.
    • A contact tracer will still be calling these individuals to verify vaccination status and symptoms. In the interim, those who are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic may continue to report to work/school.
    • SLC Public Health will only provide quarantine documentation to those who are subject to mandatory quarantine. If you are fully vaccinated, asymptomatic, and exempt from quarantine, you will not receive documentation.


What happens if I test negative on a PCR test after my positive at-home test result?

 

Due to the significant number of cases in our area, St. Lawrence County Public Health would err on the side of caution in instances like these. A negative PCR test result would not supersede a positive at-home test result. The individual would still be required to quarantine per the guidelines issued by the SLC Public Health Department.

 

Can at-home tests be used to return to school if the individual is experiencing symptoms that require testing?

 

No. A negative PCR test result is required if an individual is experiencing one or more symptoms of COVID-19, and is asked to provide a negative test result to return to school. False negative results are more likely to occur with at-home and/or antigen tests.  

 

For more information regarding COVID-19, please contact the St. Lawrence County Health Department at (315) 386-2325.