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Two confirmed COVID-19 cases at BCHS

Filed in Archive, BCHS, District, District News by on November 20, 2020

The Bethlehem Central School District was informed today, Friday, Nov. 20, of two confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Bethlehem Central High School. In each case, the individual who tested positive is in isolation and will not return to school until cleared by the Albany County Department of Health.

The Albany County Department of Health has determined through its case investigations that there was possible exposure at the high school in one of the two cases. As a precaution, the health department will quarantine several classes at the high school, including students and teachers. A total of 55 people, including students and staff, will be quarantined. The school district is cooperating fully with contact tracing efforts by the health department. Families of the students who are subject to quarantine are being contacted by both the school and the Department of Health. The potential exposure took place on Monday, Nov. 16, the last day this individual was in school.

In the second case, the individual who tested positive had not been at the high school since Nov. 10 and the Albany County Department of Health determined there was no exposure at the school. In that case, there are no additional steps required for the district or the school regarding contact tracing.

Please keep in mind that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other privacy laws do not allow the district to disclose or confirm any personally identifiable information; therefore, we cannot identify anyone who has tested positive.

There have been 17 cases of COVID-19 confirmed by the Albany County Department of Health since the start of the school year. Fourteen of the 17 cases have been reported in the high school community.

All schools, including the high school, will remain open for in-person instruction. As a reminder, all school buildings are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every night school is in session in accordance with guidance from the CDC and the New York State Department of Health.

It is important that families continue to complete the district’s COVID screening tool every morning before school. Any indicator that results in a red “thumbs-down” on the screening should be reported to your child’s school nurse as soon as possible.

In addition, please follow the COVID-19 safety precautions that we practice at school when you are away from school. These are intended to keep your family safe and help keep our schools open:

  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet at all times from those you don’t live with.
  • 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.
  • Do not come to school when 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.

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.