South Orangetown Central School District

Sent via SchoolMessenger on March 2, 2022

Last night, the New York State Department of Health released its “New Masking Guidance Update” for schools.

The update reaffirms the removal of the statewide universal masking mandate in schools and on school buses effective today. However, the guidance also notes that masking is required in the following cases:

For individuals who test positive for COVID-19 (Isolation):

  • Individuals, regardless of vaccination status, may return to school and extracurriculars–wearing a well-fitted mask–after isolating for 5 days if they are asymptomatic at the end of 5 days or if symptoms are improving. Individuals must be fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications before returning to school; and
  • Individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must mask on return from isolation during days 6 through 10 after COVID-19 infection, in schools and public indoor spaces and on school buses. Parents must ensure that their child is properly masked on days 6 through 10.

For individuals exposed to COVID-19 (Quarantine):

  • Individuals, regardless of vaccination status, may remain in school following an exposure, as long as they are asymptomatic and mask in schools and public indoor spaces and on school buses for 10 days after exposure.
  • Individuals who have been exposed are encouraged to test immediately upon learning of the exposure and 5 days after exposure. COVID-19 home test kits will be available for pick up from our school main entrances until 5PM on school days starting on Friday, March 4. Families who picked up test kits prior to the February Recess may pick up additional kits.

Given the updated guidelines, the District has suspended its Test to Stay program, food service pick up and COVID-19 notification e-blasts. K-12 virtual support/remote learning will conclude on Friday, March 4.

More than ever, personal and parental responsibility will have a critical impact on keeping our students and staff healthy. If your child is sick and/or experiencing and COVID-19 symptoms, please keep them home and consult your medical provider.

Aside from the cases described above, masking is a personal choice in South Orangetown schools. Please support and be respectful of decisions others make in the best interests of their families.