South Orangetown Central School District

Sent via SchoolMessenger on March 15, 2021

Dear South Orangetown Families and Staff,

On Februrary 22, 2021, our Board of Education approved that winter sports designated by the New York State Department of Health as “high risk” due to the risk for COVID-19 transmission could proceed in the South Orangetown Central School District with the condition that athletes and coaches participating in these sports undergo COVID-19 screening on a weekly basis.

Keeping our students and staff safe and healthy, particularly during this global pandemic, is our top priority. To this end, we have established comprehensive protocols and practices to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in our schools. Screening of those participating in high-risk sports aligns with these efforts and aims to mitigate the risk for COVID-19 transmission associated with high-risk sports and protect our athletes, our coaches and our entire school community.

Thanks to the continued advocacy of our District’s contact tracing team, the Rockland County Department of Health updated its guidance regarding COVID-19 screening and the revised screening procedure was sent to Fall 2 High Risk (football, cheerleading and volleyball) athletes and coaches last Thursday.

Revised Screening Procedure for High-Risk Sports:

  • Coaches and athletes participating in sports designated as “high risk” by the New York State Department of Health will be required to screen using the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag cards.
  • Any athlete or staff member who tests positive will be immediately contacted by our Nursing team to get a lab-based PCR within 24 hours for diagnostic purposes. Testing will be available on campus starting next week to make it as quick and convenient as possible. Individuals may also get a lab-based PCR test on their own within 24 hours and provide the results to their school nurse. NOTE: Rapid PCR tests will not be accepted.
  • In the event of a positive screening, the team will be notified by the coach to be on temporary hold and quarantine.
  • Once lab-based PCR results are returned:
    • If positive, our nurses will call each athlete to inform them of continued mandatory quarantine and release dates. Contact Tracing Data Sheets will be forwarded to New York State Department of Health.
    • If negative, the team will be immediately notified by the coach that the hold has been lifted and that the team is released from quarantine.


Robert R. Pritchard, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools