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Jan. 10: Four positive COVID cases

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on January 10, 2021

The Bethlehem Central School District has confirmed four new cases of COVID-19 today, Sunday, Jan. 10. These include two cases at Elsmere Elementary School and two cases at Bethlehem Central High School. The district has been working with the Albany County Department of Health on its case investigations and contact tracing related to these cases.

Elsmere Elementary School

  • A student at Elsmere has tested positive. There was no exposure at school related to this case. The student who tested positive is in isolation and will not return to school until cleared by the health department.
  • A staff member at Elsmere has tested positive. The district is working with the Albany County Department of Health this evening to determine if there was exposure at school. All close contacts will be notified by the school regarding the need to quarantine. The individual who tested positive is in isolation and will not return to school until cleared by the health department.

Bethlehem Central High School

  • Two staff members at the high school have tested positive. The district is working with the Albany County Department of Health this evening to determine if there was exposure at school in either or both cases. All close contacts will be notified by the school regarding the need to quarantine. Both staff members who tested positive are in isolation and will not return to school until cleared by the health department.

K-5 students return to school Monday

All elementary schools in the district will reopen for in-person instruction on Monday, Jan. 11. Students in grades 6-12 will continue in remote learning through Friday, Jan. 15. 

Symptomatic family member at home? Keep students home

Effective Monday, Jan. 11, the district will exclude siblings of students displaying symptoms of COVID-19 from in-person instruction. If a sibling or an individual in your household is showing symptoms of COVID-19, do not send your child to school and contact your child’s school nurse with that information. The daily COVID screening tool is being updated with a screening question regarding symptomatic individuals. If a child exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day, that child will be sent home and all siblings will also be dismissed from school and will need to be picked up at the same time.

Onsite COVID testing could begin this week

The Albany County Health Department has informed schools in the county who are prepared to test asymptomatic students and staff on-site can begin that testing. The district is expected to begin testing some staff during the week of Jan. 11, with testing of eligible students to begin sometime after that. More information on COVID testing of students and staff will be shared as soon as it is available.

COVID health and safety reminders

It is very important that families continue to follow these safety protocols:

  • Always wear a mask that covers both the mouth and nose when you are out of your home or if someone from outside your household visits your home.
  • Wash hands with soap and water frequently when out of your home. If you cannot use soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Don’t touch the eyes, nose or mouth unless your hands are clean.
  • Contact your medical provider if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose.
  • Do not come to school if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. In addition, if an individual in your household is symptomatic and is awaiting the results of a COVID test, please do not send your child to school.

If you or your child are experiencing symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately. COVID-19 testing information is available by calling the New York State Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline at (888) 364-3065 or on the Albany County Department of Health website.