I am writing to notify you that several members of our school community have tested positive for COVID-19 and may have exposed others while at school.
Below you will find guidance on next steps that will help keep our school community healthy and safe. The information below reflects the expertise of the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Test & Trace Corp (T2), and the New York City Department of Education (DOE).
What Happens Now?
· You will receive a COVID test kit. The kit contains two tests.
o Please take the first test on the day you receive the home test. If the test is negative, you should continue to work at school.
o Please take the second test on the fifth day after exposure.
· You may continue to work at school as long as you receive a negative test result both times and do not experience any symptoms of COVID-19. It is strongly recommended that you wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days from your last exposure to COVID, such as a KN95 or KF94, or using a cloth mask over a disposable mask to improve the fit and add layers.
· If you have COVID-like symptoms or feel ill, please isolate and take the 2nd home test.
· If you test positive on either home test, you must notify your school and follow the guidance below:
o Any fully vaccinated staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19 and has no or mild symptoms can return to school after:
§ Isolating for 5 days AND
§ Being fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication AND
§ Is experiencing overall improvement in symptoms
§ Staff members returning after 5 days must wear a high quality (e.g. KN95) mask until day 10. Schools will provide KN95 masks to staff members who need them.
How do we stay healthy?
Please remember to follow these important actions to prevent COVID-19 transmission:
1. Stay home if sick (except to get essential medical care, including COVID-19 testing).
2. Wear a face covering if you are symptomatic or exposed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Staff in early childhood classrooms must continue to be masked indoors at all times.
3. Practice healthy hand hygiene: Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; avoid touching your face; and cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hands.
Vaccination is the most important tool we have to protect ourselves from COVID-19. As of September 27, 2021, all DOE employees, as well as DOE/City contractors in DOE buildings, are required to provide proof that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. All are expected to receive the 2nd dose within 45 days of the first dose to remain compliant, according to the order issued by the Commissioner of Health. You must submit proof of vaccination using the DOE’s Vaccination Portal.
Vaccine booster shots are now available for all fully vaccinated people 12 and older. These shots boost your immunity from an initial vaccination series. A booster shot is recommended for any adult who received the
second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least five months ago, the second dose of the Moderna vaccine at least six months ago, or the one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.
How do I use test kits distributed at school?
All test kits come with printed instructions, please follow these instructions when administering the test. You can also check your test kit and watch a video on how to use your test kit. Videos in multiple languages can be found at https://www.schools.nyc.gov/HomeRapidTestKits.
How can I stay updated?
We will continue to closely follow directions from public health experts and proactively update you on any measures we are taking.
To help New Yorkers quarantine, the NYC Test + Trace Corps partners with community-based organizations to connect individuals to resources like food, medicine, and health care. To connect with resources, you can call 1-212-COVID19 (212-268-4319).