January 7, 2022
Dear Chatham Families,
Effective today, Chatham Central School District will adopt new isolation and quarantine protocols in partnership with the Columbia County Department of Health. This change aligns with updated guidance from the New York State Department of Health on January 4, 2022 which also aligns with updated recommendations from the CDC. These changes replace our previously published guidance and protocols.
Moving forward, this means COVID-19 cases will follow the updated guidance below.
Isolate for 5 days, where day “0” is the day of symptom onset or (if asymptomatic) the day of collection of the first positive specimen.
If asymptomatic at the end of 5 days, or if symptoms are resolving, isolation ends and the individual should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days. Please note: students returning without their symptoms adequately resolved may be returned home at the discretion of school medical staff. If you are unsure if your student is healthy enough to return to school, please contact your school’s health office.
Individuals who are moderately/severely immunocompromised should continue to follow standard (i.e., not shortened) Isolation Guidance.
Individuals who are unable to wear a well-fitting mask for 5 days after a 5-day isolation should also follow standard (i.e., not shortened) Isolation Guidance.
If exposed to COVID-19, quarantine as follows, where day “0” is the last date of exposure:
If not fully vaccinated: Quarantine for 5 days and wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days.
If fully vaccinated: NO quarantine is required but these individuals should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure.
If possible, test at day 5 with either a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT, e.g., PCR) or antigen test.
If symptoms appear, quarantine immediately and seek testing. In this situation, quarantine would end when the test is negative. If testing is not done, isolate according to the above isolation guidance.
If your child is currently under quarantine as per the old guidance, please email your school nurse to determine their new return date to school.
CONTACT TRACING ON THE BUS
Also effective today, the Columbia County Department of Health has revised contact tracing on school buses to include only students or staff sitting in the same seat as the individual who tests positive, as long as other protocols such as wearing masks at all times are adhered to. All others on the bus will not be required to quarantine.
For your convenience, we have provided an updated chart explaining contact tracing on school buses.
We also wanted you to be aware that children ages 12 to 15 are now eligible for the Pfizer booster shot. If you are interested, please visit https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ for more information or to find a vaccine and booster site near you. You may also visit the Columbia County Department of Health website for available location options.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the changing guidance impacting our schools. As always, we will communicate any changes after they have been discussed with and approved by our local department of health.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Superintendent of Schools