As of Jan. 7, the Fayetteville-Manlius School District has been following shortened COVID-19 isolation and quarantine protocols as directed by the Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD), which are based on New York State Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
On Jan. 11, the OCHD issued a new flowchart to help the general public understand the new guidance.
As part of these revised protocols, all students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 are able to return to school following a five-day isolation period if symptoms resolve/are resolving, or an individual remains symptom-free.
The district continues to enforce COVID-19 mitigation strategies, especially in areas such as cafeterias where students can briefly remove their masks to consume meals. At the elementary and middle school levels, all students consume meals and participate in mask breaks while maintaining six feet of distance from one another. High school students are able to maintain at least four feet – and up to six feet – of space (depending upon the setting) from classmates during meal and break times.
Each of F-M’s school cafeterias is equipped with larger and more powerful air filtration machines that are similar to the hospital-grade air purification units currently being used in classrooms since the onset of the pandemic.
Superintendent Craig J. Tice said district data continues to indicate the virus is not spreading among close contacts in school, but adjustments to health and safety measures will be made if needed.
“We are continuing to encourage our students and staff to practice those strategies that have helped mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our schools: wear face masks while indoors, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, maintain social distancing when around others and stay home when you’re not feeling well,” Tice said.
Positive Case Reports
The Onondaga County Health Department has recently moved to an attestation form in which individuals self-report their positive COVID-19 test result and take it upon themselves to inform their close contacts.
Even though the state and county have moved away from contact tracing during the recent surge in the COVID virus, families may still choose to inform the school district of positive test results and the district will continue to record this data on the New York State Department of Health dashboard.