Letter from Supt. Bills: Update on Recent COVID-19 Positive Cases

Printable Version of Letter

November 13, 2020

Good afternoon,

As you are aware, there has been a recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases throughout the region and NYS. In the last 48 hours the District has been contacted by the Onondaga County Health Department confirming additional positive COVID-19 Coronavirus test results. These unique cases involve:

  • five West Gnesee High School students;
  • one fully remote individual from elementary school; and
  • one non-district student who attends a full-time OCM BOCES program housed at Camillus Middle School

The District supports the OCHD contact tracing investigation by providing information of all possible close contacts. It is important to know that four of the WGHS cases required no school-based contact tracing (and therefore no school-based mandatory quarantines) because the students became symptomatic subsequent to their last dates of in-person attendance. As a reminder, tracing is a process that identifies any contacts of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 for a “look back” of 48 hours prior to a positive test or signs of symptoms. The OCHD determines the mandatory quarantines and communicates directly with impacted individuals. As of today, the OCHD has not indicated that the cases mentioned in this letter are school-related.

We will not provide personally identifiable information regarding any employees nor students per confidentiality and provisions of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) or Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

While mandatory quarantining may feel inconvenient, it has proven effective in mitigating community spread. Continued thanks goes to all students and staff for remaining diligent with current common practices of mask wearing, staying physically distant, and avoiding group gatherings and potential for unexpected congregation.

West Genesee High School remains in a fully remote learning mode through Friday, November 20, 2020. All other students and staff will continue their regular schedule of in-person learning. The District’s cleaning staff will continue its regular deep cleaning and sanitizing practices in all buildings.

Families should continue to monitor for symptoms. As a reminder, per the CDC, COVID-19 symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Fever 100.0 F or greater / or chills
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or Vomiting

Please see our school nurses’ health resources as listed on westgenesee.org for information and procedures.

The District continues to prioritize the health and safety of students and employees. We continue to closely monitor and communicate updates, when necessary. We appreciate your support and understanding on this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your school health office, main office, or the WGCSD District Office.

David C. Bills
Superintendent of Schools