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Jan. 15: Three positive COVID cases and new quarantine info

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on January 15, 2021

Three positive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed today, Friday, Jan. 15, in the Bethlehem Central School District. They are described below. There is also important information about the Albany County Department of Health guidance on symptomatic household members and new quarantine protocols when there is exposure to individuals who are presumed positive by the health department.

Today’s positive cases include:

Eagle Elementary School

  • A student at Eagle has tested positive. There was possible exposure at school related to this case. The dates of possible exposure were Monday, Jan. 11 and Tuesday, Jan. 12. All contacts have been identified and have been notified of the need to quarantine. The student who tested positive is in isolation and will not return to school until cleared by the health department.

      Bethlehem Central High School

      • Two students at the high school have tested positive. There was no exposure at school. The students who tested positive are in isolation and will not return to school until cleared by the health department.

      New and important information about monitoring symptoms in your household

      Last week, the school district announced that students who live with a household member who is exhibiting one or more symptoms of COVID-19 would be excluded from in-person instruction. These students must stay at home.

      This week, the Albany County Department of Health informed the district it was expanding its quarantine guidance as it relates to individuals who are presumed positive for COVID-19. For instance, if a student is symptomatic and there is a household member who is positive for COVID, that student may be presumed positive by the health department. As a result, the health department advises that all school contacts (in some instances, this means entire classrooms) are to be quarantined when there is exposure to presumed positive cases as well as to confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. The quarantining of presumed positive cases could have a significant impact on the ability of schools to operate. The impact of these new quarantining protocols may not be avoidable in most cases but can be minimized by your continued efforts to closely monitor your family members for symptoms of COVID-19 and by completing the daily COVID-19 screening for each student.

      It is also important to 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 your child tests positive for COVID or if you get a “thumbs down” on your child’s daily COVID screening, please contact your child’s school nurse.

      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.