Per the New York State Department of Education’s guidance to schools for reopening, Recovering, Rebuilding, and Renewing: The Spirit of New York’s Schools, “it is strongly recommended that schools comply with CDC guidance and not conduct COVID-19 testing or require testing or antibody testing of students or staff members. The decision of whether a test needs to be conducted should be determined by a healthcare provider or the local department of health. CDC Interim Considerations for K-12 School Administrators for SARS-CoV-2 Testing Schools should identify who in the community is responsible for referring, sourcing, and administering testing (e.g., local health department testing site, physician offices, hospital system) particularly in the event that large-scale testing at the school is needed. Schools wanting to perform COVID-19 testing must apply and be approved as a limited service laboratory (LSL). Please refer to the instructions and application materials, and if applicable, the worksheet for multiple locations.” Therefore, the school district will not be testing individuals. A list of regionally available testing locations is available below for individuals that may want to be tested on their own. School district health care professionals will refer symptomatic individuals to their primary care provider (PCP) for testing.
Symptom Screening Process
In the event an individual screens confirmed for COVID-19 symptoms while at school, meaning that they have a fever, or appear symptomatic while at school with any of the COVID-19 symptoms identified by the CDC, they will be placed in an isolation area. For students, parents/guardians will be called to pick the student up from school immediately. Staff members will be asked to leave immediately. Individuals will be referred to their primary care provider (PCP) for evaluation. If the primary care provider (PCP) determines that the symptoms are not COVID-19 related, a note from the primary care provider (PCP) stating such diagnosis must be provided in order to return to school or work. If the primary care provider (PCP) determines that the symptoms are COVID-19 related, testing must occur.
It is imperative that individuals seek medical evaluation from their primary care provider (PCP) to determine whether or not these symptoms are related to a known or diagnosed condition other than COVID-19 (i.e. ear infection, allergies, etc.).
At the minimum, New York State Department of Health Guidelines requires “documentation from a health care provider following evaluation, negative COVID 19 diagnostic test result and symptom resolution, or if COVID 19 positive, release from isolation.” If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, isolation protocols will be required and release from isolation will be determined by the Rensselaer County Health Department. Any symptomatic student or staff awaiting testing results should self-quarantine and will not be allowed to return to school until released by a negative COVID-19 test result.
If an individual is confirmed as positive for COVID-19, isolation protocols will be required for 10 days per CDC guidelines. An individual must be in isolation for 10 days and symptom free for 72 hours before a release from isolation may be considered. Release from isolation will be determined solely by the Rensselaer County Health Department. A release letter provided the Rensselaer County Health Department will be required for the return to school.
If a confirmed test result occurs, the county of residency will be notified by the laboratory performing the test. Individuals will be also be notified by either the initial testing facility or their local health department for negative results. The parents of any student who has tested positive must notify the school district as soon as possible. If this were to occur, the school district will contact the county of residency for confirmation and collaboration in beginning contact tracing activities. The district COVID-19 School Resource Person for the school will coordinate with the Rensselaer County Health Department for contact tracing purposes.
In the event a student is under mandatory quarantine by the Rensselaer County Health Department, the school district will provide remote learning options for the student for the length of their quarantine.
School closure decisions will occur in consultation with the local health department. This may involve the closure of a classroom or entire facility depending on the quantity of suspected and/or confirmed cases. There may be no need to close to a school building if the local health department determines that the identified close contacts are excluded from school and the facility may continue normal operations. Full closure of a school facility may be necessary in some situations and will be implemented on a case-by-case basis.
COVID-19 Testing Sites
New York State Testing Site
State University New York at Albany
1400 Colonial Quad
Albany NY 12208
Must make an appointment by
Calling: 1-888-364-3065 or
Completing an online form:
Community Care Physicians
713 Troy Schenectady Road
Latham NY 12110
Priority 1 Urgent Care
2080 Western Ave
Guilderland NY 12084
920 Lark Drive
Albany NY 12208
Rite Aid – Colonie
1863 Central Avenue
Colonie NY 12205
Columbia Memorial Hospital Rapid Care
2827 Route 9
Valatie, NY 12184
WellNow Urgent Care
446 Fairview Avenue
Hudson NY 12534
Columbia County Department of Health
325 Columbia Street
Hudson NY 12534
Greene County Dept. of Health
411 Main Street
Catskill, NY 12414
CareMount Medical Urgent Care
6734 Route 9
Rhinebeck NY 12572
Kingston Mid-Town Mobile Site
27 Grand Street
Kingston, NY 12401
Emergency One Kingston
40 Hurley Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401
As noted in the New York State Department of Education’s guidance to schools for reopening, Recovering, Rebuilding, and Renewing: The Spirit of New York’s Schools, “Contact tracing is a public health function performed by local public health departments to trace all persons who had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. This allows public health officials to put in place isolation or other measures to limit the spread of the virus. Schools must cooperate with state and local health department contact tracing. Schools can assist public health departments in knowing who may have had contact at school with a confirmed case by:
- keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members;
- ensuring student schedules are up to date;
- keeping a log of any visitors which includes date, time and where in the school they visited; and
- Assist local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual at school in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program.
Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations. School staff should not try to determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the local department of health.”
In the event an individual is identified as a confirmed case within a school, the County Health Department will determine a starting date for which the school will need to provide contact tracing information. This date will be 48 hours prior to the individual becoming symptomatic. To this end, the school district will need to keep records that will be made available to the County Health Department for those who may have been in close contact with the confirmed case. Any close contacts will be identified by the County Health Department. The district COVID-19 School Resource Person will be asked to assist the county with quarantine surveillance monitoring of contacts in connection with a confirmed case in a school.
If a student or staff member is identified by the County Health Department as a contact, they will be contacted by a county Case Manager and be instructed to quarantine for 14 days. Any contact identified by the County Health Department may not return to school until such a time as they are released from mandatory quarantine by the Case Manager.
School closure decisions will occur in consultation with the County Health Department. This may involve the closure of a classroom or entire facility depending on the quantity of suspected and/or confirmed cases. There may be no need to close to a school building if the County Health Department determines that the identified close contacts are excluded from school and the facility may continue normal operations. Full closure of a school facility may be necessary in some situations and will be implemented on a case-by-case basis.
Any staff or students who travel out of state to any location listed on the Governor’s Travel Advisory list, will be required to quarantine for 14 days after returning to New York State. Persons who travel to any states listed on the Travel Advisory list should self-report their travel to the district COVID-19 School Resource Person for instructions. Persons who travel via airplane and are required to complete a survey upon arrival in NYS, should still self-report their travel to the district COVID-19 School Resource Person. If a location has been removed from the travel advisory list while a person is serving their related 14 day mandatory quarantine, that person must still complete the full 14 days of mandatory quarantine before returning to school.
In the event that someone within a household travels to a state on the travel advisory list and returns to New York State, but the student or staff member does not travel, that student or staff member may be allowed to return to school without a 14 day mandatory quarantine. In the event that person in a household who has traveled becomes a positive case, the County Health Department will identify all household members as close contacts and quarantine all members of the household for 14 days.
Essential employees will be determined by the school district. Under Executive Order 2026, the services these staff perform are considered essential functions of the school facility, which include, but is not limited to, healthcare services and services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of the school facility.
In the event that any of these essential employees are identified as contacts by the County Health Department, they may return to school and continue to perform their job duties as long as they remain asymptomatic and wear appropriate PPE at all times within the school facility. Any essential staff who are identified as contacts will undergo surveillance monitoring by the COVID-19 School Resource Person. If they become symptomatic, they will immediately self-report to the COVID-19 School Resource Person, who will contact the County Health Department to determine testing protocols and quarantine procedures. Essential staff are mandated to follow quarantine protocols for 14 days outside of their normal work duties.