Letter from Supt. Bills: New Guidance

Printable Version of Letter

January 6, 2022

RE: New Guidance

Dear Parents/Guardians/Caregivers,

On Tuesday, January 4, 2022, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (NYDOH) issued new guidelines related to the COVID-19 Health Pandemic. The Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) reviewed this information with a directive to continue our current practices.

This afternoon, the OCHD released Updated Guidance for COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine with information that will be put in place at West Genesee CSD. An overview of new information according to the document includes the following:

Isolation (a person testing COVID-19+): Regardless of vaccination status, a person testing positive must isolate for 5 days following the day of symptom onset or testing positive (asymptomatic). If symptoms continue or the individual is not fever free for 24 hours, isolation continues.

Mandatory Quarantine (a person considered to be exposed to a COVID-19+ person): Partially or unvaccinated persons (see definition below) must be quarantined for 5 days. (OCHD recommends testing on day 5.)  If the individual test COVID-19+ they must isolate. If symptoms continue, the quarantine continues. (Note: if the individual has recovered from being COVID-19+ in the last 90 days, no quarantine is required.)

Fully Vaccinated: A person considered fully vaccinated has received two doses (Pfizer and Moderna) or one dose (Johnson and Johnson) and a booster followed by a two week period. If not yet eligible for a booster, the individual is considered fully vaccinated. (Please see page 2 of the Updated Guidance for COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine for information regarding timelines for booster eligibility.)

Partially and Unvaccinated: A person is considered partially or unvaccinated if they do not meet requirements as described above. This includes persons with pending appointments and prior to the two weeks following the booster shot, if eligible.

Attestations: The OCHD will no longer contact a person for the purposes of release for those serving a quarantine or isolation. Instead, attestation forms are available as follows:

Self-Attestation: Affirmation of Isolation

Self-Attestation: Affirmation of Quarantine

Persons returning from quarantine or isolation must provide the appropriate attestation sheet (for students, signed by parent) regarding the terms and conditions within the document.

Test to Stay

West Genesee CSD, and each school within, has a preliminary approval as a Limited Service Laboratory (LSL) per Article 5, Title V, Section 579 of the Public Health Law. Further, we are working with OCHD for approval of Test To Stay (TST) protocols and delivery of supplies. We hope to begin the program soon.

As indicated in a previous communication (12/8/21), TST will allow persons determined to have school-based exposure to a positive case to test daily rather than serve the quarantine period.  Signed consent is required for students and the appropriate COVID-19 test would be provided at school. A student would be allowed to attend school for the academic day provided they remain asymptomatic and the test result is negative. The same student would still be considered in quarantine outside of the school day per OCHD and would not be allowed to participate in Interscholastic Athletics, Fine Arts, or any other extracurricular events.

A future communication will include TST information with accompanying protocols and information regarding consent.

Thank you for your continued patience and partnership during the seemingly ever-changing dynamics.


David C. Bills
Superintendent of Schools
West Genesee Central School District