According to Anderson, the Department of Health said there are changes coming to how isolation and quarantine will be handled — both by the state and local Health Departments. Last week, the district reported 31 positive COVID-19 cases and 57 people in quarantine.
GOWANDA — Coming out of the holiday, the Gowanda Central School Superintendent Dr. Robert Anderson said new guidance released early into the break could help the district with the staffing issues it has faced in the past.
Over the break, the department released new guidance. The biggest change is that critical workforce employees who are identified as positive for COVID-19 could return to work in as little as five days if they are vaccinated, asymptomatic and can wear face coverings. They will have to continue to wear a mask at work in that case for a few more days after returning.
“It doesn’t apply to children yet,” said Anderson. “But I expect there will be movement on that shortly.”
“I’m not really sure how that’s going to play out,” said Anderson. “For that to become an option, we’d have to procure enough tests, which can be a challenge, we have some capacity issues and we’d have to become a limited license laboratory and we’d have to find a sponsor. Those are impediments we have to overcome but we’re working on it.”
Anderson also discussed “Test-to-Stay,” which is when a student who is a close contact comes to school and tests out of COVID-19 protocols by testing negative for six or seven consecutive days. This is an option that Erie County is only beginning to explore and Cattaraugus County is not pursuing at all.
State Gov. Kathy Hochul also provided at home COVID-19 testing kits to every school in New York, which are available for families in the Gowanda school office. Tests are available for pickup during school hours, but can be sent straight home with high school students as long as the main office is notified.
As the school has been getting more questions when it comes to COVID-19, Anderson decided to release a letter to the public which answers several of those frequently asked questions. That letter can be found at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Id9F9l4XKxx6qcSvAGGonghHcdOZKpVNInMC4QdlJnI/edit?fbclid=IwAR2rVNvHyaVmi87Ykht6xXws5gIp9sJb8buBNUaUidukTCiqkGed6xReSis
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