Dear F-M families and staff,
Beginning Friday, Jan. 7, the Fayetteville-Manlius School District will begin following shortened COVID-19 isolation and quarantine protocols as directed by the Onondaga County Health Department, which are based on New York State Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
The new isolation and quarantine protocols for students and staff are:
For COVID-19 positive individuals:
- Isolate for five days (where day 0 is the day symptoms started or the day you test positive if asymptomatic).
- If you have remained symptom-free or if symptoms are resolving, you can end isolation after five days. (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and should not delay the end of isolation).
- If you continue to have fever or your other symptoms have not improved after five days of isolation, you should wait to end your isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved.
- You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for five additional days (day six through day 10) after the end of your five-day isolation period.
- If you are moderately to severely immunocompromised, isolate for 10 days.
- Individuals not able to wear a mask should isolate themselves for 10 days.
If exposed to COVID-19 but asymptomatic:
- Quarantine as follows, where day zero is the last date of exposure.
- If not fully vaccinated, or fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster but not yet boosted, quarantine for five days and wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional five days.
- If fully vaccinated and boosted (with the booster at least two weeks before the first date of exposure) or not yet eligible for a booster, no quarantine is required but these individuals should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure.
- If possible, test at day five with either a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT, e.g., PCR) or antigen test.
- If symptoms appear, quarantine and seek testing. In this situation, quarantine would end when a PCR test is negative. If testing is not done, isolate according to the guidance above.
- If you have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days, no quarantine is required.
With this latest COVID-19 surge, guidance is rapidly evolving, and we understand it may be confusing. The county is frequently updating its COVID-19 website with new information and will be creating an isolation and quarantine flowchart that will illustrate the steps above. We will share that with you when we receive it.
Please note that if you test positive the county has indicated that it is overwhelmed with case investigations. The county is asking individuals who test COVID-19 positive to immediately isolate and notify their close contacts and workplace. Staff may use the county health department’s new self-attestation forms as legal documentation for isolation or quarantine and for New York Paid Family Leave COVID-19 claims.
Additional school-specific guidance is expected from the CDC in the coming days, and the state Department of Health plans to review it once available. If that guidance changes our operations in any way, we will share that information with you as soon as possible.
Our goal is to maintain in-person learning as long as we and our public health officials feel it is safe to do so, and we need your help to continue to keep our schools open. We are asking families to monitor their students for any COVID-19 symptoms and to keep students home from school if they are sick. In school, we will continue to encourage students and staff to properly wear face masks, practice frequent and thorough handwashing and maintain social distance when possible. The district is also conducting weekly surveillance testing to track the prevalence of COVID-19 in the school community. If you’re interested in participating, registration may be done online.
As we head into year two of this pandemic, I know this latest surge has us all anxious. Please know that we will continue to do everything we can to provide a safe school environment. Thank you for your patience, flexibility and ongoing support.
Craig J. Tice, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools