UPDATED COVID-19 Safety and Health Protocols

Updated COVID Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines

The New York State Approach to COVID Quarantine

Effective February 7, 2022

After careful review of the evidence CDC used to inform these recommendations as well as case and hospitalization rates in New York, NYSDOH is aligning with CDC’s updated isolation and quarantine guidance.

After review of the NYS DOH February 4, 2022, updated COVID Quarantine and Isolation please see the updated Quarantine and Isolation guidelines for the Catholic Academy’s and Parish Schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn effective February 7, 2022.

 

Updated Quarantine Guidelines

 NYS DOH Quarantine Exception for Schools (K-12)

  • Exposed fully vaccinated students, teachers, and staff who must quarantine because they did not receive a CDC recommended booster when eligible can attend or work at school during the quarantine period where COVID Health and Safety protocols i.e., social distance, masking, are monitored and enforced.
  • They may also attend or work at school-based extracurricular activities that do not involve participants from other schools. (e.g., not competitive sports events with other schools)
  • They may attend or work at certain eligible childcare programs for school-age children, such as early drop off programs and aftercare.  
  • However, these individuals should continue to quarantine as otherwise required outside of school and these school-related activities. 
  • If these individuals attend or work at a school with a test-to-stay program they should participate in that program. If the school does not have a test-to-stay program, then it is strongly encouraged that these individuals test at days 2-3 (or the first school day after the exposure is identified) and day 5.
  • Please note that people participating in Test to Stay Strategy to participate in school are allowed to continue to ride the school bus and attend school-administered and their school-age childcare program (whether on-site at the school or off-site at a different location and whether they include students from a single or multiple schools) in which all appropriate mitigation strategies are followed (e.g., masking, distance, ventilation, hand hygiene).
  • Fully vaccinated 5–11-year-old children who are not eligible for the booster, have no further restrictions.
  • Individuals attending or working at a school with the test-to-stay preventive strategy should participate in that preventive strategy.
  • If the school does not have the test-to-stay preventive strategy, it is strongly encouraged that faculty, staff and students required to quarantine test at days 2-3 (or the first school day after the exposure is identified) and day 5 using COVID tests available from Federal, City and State resources.
  • Unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated or 12 years or older -Fully Vaccinated, Booster eligible, but NOT received a Booster, faculty, staff, or student who are identified as a close contact who does not follow the test to stay preventive strategy and does not submit proof of a negative COVID test on Day 1 and Day 5 are required to quarantine for five days from date of exposure where the exposure date is Day 0.

 

Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten

Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten, including NYC DOE funded programs, students who were exposed to COVID-19 can return to school after 10 days where the Exposure Date is Day 0 or when:

  • Children can return from quarantine on Day 8, with proof of a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test performed on Day 5 or later after exposure. (Day 0 is the date of exposure)
  • The test can be any molecular test, or an at home-test that is explicitly intended for use by children as young as 2.

 

Who does Not Have to Quarantine After Close Contact with Someone With COVID-19?

  • Anyone ages 12 or older and who has received all CDC recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including boosters if eligible and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
  • Anyone ages 5-11 years old who has completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Anyone who has had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days (tested positive using a viral test, e.g., antigen or PCR).

 

What To Do if Not Subject to Quarantine:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of last close contact with someone with COVID-19 (the date of last close contact is considered day 0).
  • Get tested at least 5 days, if possible, after the date of last close contact with someone with COVID-19. (recommended)
  • If test is positive or COVID-19 symptoms develop, isolate from other people, and follow Isolation guidelines.
  • Anyone who had COVID-19 within the last 90 days and has since recovered and remained symptom free, does not need to get tested after close contact with someone with COVID-19.

 

Who Has to Quarantine After Close Contact with Someone With COVID-19?

  • Anyone ages 12 or older who has completed the primary series of recommended vaccine and is eligible for a CDC recommended booster shot but has not received it.

Please Note: These individuals may attend or work at school, where multi-layer mitigation strategies are in place. They may also attend or work at school-based extracurricular activities that do not involve participants from other schools. (e.g., not competitive sports events with other schools) They may attend or work at certain eligible childcare programs for school-age children, such as early drop off programs and aftercare. See Test to Stay preventive strategy guidelines.

  • Anyone who has not completed a primary vaccine series.
  • Anyone who is not vaccinated.

 

How to Quarantine

  • Stay home for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5) after the date of the last contact with a person who has COVID-19. The date of contact (exposure) is considered day 0.
    • For example: A person is exposed on January 2, this would be Day 0, count 5 days of quarantine until January 7, this would be Day 5. Return to school on January 8, this would be the first day quarantine free.
  • Continue to monitor for 10 days after the date of the last close contact with someone with COVID-19, watch for fever (100.4◦F or greater), cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms develop, get tested immediately and isolate until test results arrive. If test result is positive, follow isolation guidelines.
  • Quarantined individuals should make every effort to get tested at least 5 days after exposure, even if asymptomatic. If it is not possible to get a test 5 days after the last close contact with someone with COVID-19, isolation can end after day 5 if there have been NO COVID-19 symptoms throughout the 5-day period.
  • However, your child must continue to quarantine for the 10 days as otherwise required outside of academic instruction periods in school, school related extra-curricular activities, early drop off programs and after-school.

 

Updated Isolation Guidelines

New York State Approach to COVID-19 Isolation

Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19.

Who Has to Isolate?

People who are confirmed to have COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of COVID-19 need to isolate regardless of their vaccination status. This includes:

  • People who have a positive viral test (e.g., antigen or PCR) for COVID-19, regardless of whether they have symptoms.
  • People with symptoms of COVID-19including those who are awaiting test results (Rapid or PCR) or have not been tested
  • People with symptoms should isolate even if they do not know if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.

How to Isolate

  • Stay home, in a separate room from other household members, if possible, for at least 5 days from onset of symptoms or positive test date, whichever came first.
  • Isolate for at least 5 days, if symptoms persist a longer isolation will be required.
  • Return from Isolation after a minimum of 5 days and the following: (Positive Test date or Symptom Onset Date is Day 0)
    • Fever free for 24 hours with no fever reducing medication
    • Symptoms are improving
    • Licensed Healthcare Provider Note, dated after Day 5, stating the individual can safely return to in person instruction

Exhibit COVID-19 Symptoms During the School Day:

If an individual exhibits COVID-19 symptom during the school day, schools should implement Isolation protocols.

Individuals who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms during the school day are required to isolate and get tested for COVID-19. The individual can return to school when:

  • Negative Lab based COVID-19 test or alternative diagnosis (healthcare provider)
  • Fever free for 24 hours with no fever reducing medication
  • Symptoms are improving
  • Licensed Healthcare Provider Note stating you can safely return to in person instruction

Please Note: These guidelines are subject to change as the pandemic continues to evolve and updated information is received by City and State agencies.

Please Note: The Office of the Superintendents of Schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn reserves the right to implement COVID health and safety guidelines that go above the required city and state COVID health and safety guidelines.

Letter to Families Regarding Masks

Dear Catholic Academy and Parish School Families,

As you may be aware, a New York State Supreme Court Judge in Nassau County ruled last night that the statewide mandate ordering students and staff to wear masks in schools is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced. However, the New York Supreme Court in Albany County has determined the mandate is constitutional and legal.

Shortly after the ruling was issued, the New York State Department of Education (SED) notified all school districts throughout the state that the Department of Health has appealed the decision, and a stay has been issued that restores the mask rule. Therefore, SED dispatched the following statement:

The State Education Department understands that Nassau County Supreme Court has ruled that the Department of Health exceeded its authority in enacting the mask regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.60, in Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dep’t of Health et al. This regulation is the subject of conflicting decisions, insofar as Albany County Supreme Court recently upheld the regulation in Massapequa UFSD et al. v. Hochul, et al.

 It will now be left to the appellate courts of the State to resolve the conflict between the two Supreme Courts. Because an appellate court has Stayed the Nassau Supreme Court Order that Order cannot take effect at this time. Therefore, all schools must comply with the mask mandate as issued by the State. Naturally, if the Governor rescinds the mask mandate, there would be no need to await the Court decisions. It is our fervent hope for the Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn that the mask mandate will be eliminated which would allow our schools to make mask wearing optional based upon local circumstances. If the appellate courts strike down the mask mandate, our schools and academies will IMMEDIATELY be able to make masks optional. However, until the appellate courts render a final decision, our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools must follow the State mask mandate.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and keep you informed.

We thank you for your continued patience and understanding!

Sincerely,

Rev. Msgr. David L. Cassato

Vicar for Catholic Schools

 

Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.                                                                                          

Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services                                        

 

Joan McMaster

Deputy Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services

Nassau County Mask Ruling – Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dep’t of Health et al. – Students Must Continue to Wear Masks Until Further Notice

The State Education Department understands that Nassau County Supreme Court has ruled that the Department of Health exceeded its authority in enacting the mask regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.60, in Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dep’t of Health et al.  This regulation is the subject of conflicting decisions, insofar as Albany County Supreme Court recently upheld the regulation in Massapequa UFSD et al. v. Hochul, et al.

It is SED’s understanding that the Department of Health will appeal the Nassau County Supreme Court decision, which will result in an automatic stay that will unambiguously restore the mask rule until such time as an appellate court issues a further ruling.  Therefore, schools must continue to follow the mask rule.

 

One Free Home Test Kit Sent Home for each Student

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and continue to provide safe in person instruction St. Helen Catholic Academy has received free Home Test Kits from NYC and NYS. These Home Test Kits will help the school implement another preventive mitigation strategy, in addition to the current COVID Health and Safety Guidelines and Protocols, a Test to Stay. This Test to Stay preventive strategy is for faculty, staff and students who are identified as close contacts and do not meet the NYS DOH criteria for quarantine exemption and therefore have recommended quarantine. These individuals would include the following:

  • Unvaccinated
  • Not Fully Vaccinated
  • 12 years or older -Fully Vaccinated, Booster eligible, but NOT received a Booster

Please note: The Test to Stay preventive strategy is an additional preventive strategy even though these individuals can attend or work at school during the quarantine period where COVID Health and Safety protocols i.e., social distance, masking, are monitored and enforced. However, these individuals must continue to quarantine as otherwise required outside of academic instruction periods in school. Extra-curricular, after-school, or community activities are not permitted during quarantine.

 

Tests from NYC and NYS:

Each student received today, via backpack, one free Home Test Kit.

Please refer to the directives included in this letter for the recommended use of the Home Test Kit.

Schools will also have a limited supply of additional Home Test Kits to begin to implement the Test to Stay preventive strategy.  This Test to Stay preventive strategy will continue until the school has depleted the supply of Home Test Kits. At that time, it is strongly encouraged to continue this additional preventive strategy and that faculty, staff and students required to quarantine test at days 2-3 (or the first school day after the exposure is identified) and day 5 using COVID tests available from the Federal, City and State resources included in this letter.

 

Unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated or 12 years or older -Fully Vaccinated, Booster eligible, but NOT received a Booster, faculty staff or student who are identified as a close contact who does not follow the test to stay preventive strategy and does not submit proof of a negative COVID test on Day 1 and Day 5 are required to quarantine for five days from date of exposure where the exposure date is Day 0.

The NYC DOE funded Pk-3 and Pk-4 students will also receive a free Home Test kits however, for ALL Pk-3 and Pk-4 programs, all children in a classroom with the COVID-positive individual must quarantine. Home tests kits cannot be used by preschool children in lieu of quarantining.  Please refer to updated quarantine guidelines for preschool children.

 

Test to Stay Preventive Strategy: Home Test Kit Recommended Usage

  • Schools will distribute free, take-home COVID-19 rapid test kits to any student (in grades kindergarten or higher) that do not meet the NYS DOH criteria for quarantine exemption and who have been identified as a close contact of a COVID positive individual.
  • If your child was exposed to COVID-19 at school, please help your child take the first test on the day they receive the home test and help your child take the second test five days after exposure.
  • Your child may continue to attend school as long as your child receives negative test results and does not experience any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If your child has COVID-like symptoms or feels ill before the fifth day, please have your child isolate (stay home), and take the second home test immediately.
  • If your child tests positive on either home test, your child must isolate according to the updated Isolation guidelines.
  • Please contact your child’s school immediately to inform them of the positive test result and for further guidance.
  • Parents are required to sign and submit the Home Test Kit Affirmation on Day 1 and Day 5 as proof of the negative Home Test result on Days 1 and 5 for their child before re-entry to school.
  • Faculty, Staff or Students who have recovered from a confirmed case of COVID within the past 90 days should not receive at-home test kits following exposure.
  • Please Note: With the exception of attending school or riding the school bus the student is quarantined for all other activities, including after school programs and any extracurricular activities.

As a reminder, all students, staff, and visitors must pass the Catholic Academy or Parish School health screener to enter school buildings.

 

Additional Home Test Kits:

Parents, Faculty and Staff can look to obtain free Home Test Kits from City or State locations or order Home Test kits from the Federal Government under the American Rescue Act.

 

Federal Government test kits, beginning Wednesday, January 19, can be ordered at https://www.covidtests.gov/

https://special.usps.com/testkits

New York State Forward Rapid Test Program information can be found at https://forward.ny.gov/ny-forward-rapid-test-program

New York City COVID-19 Rapid Test information can be found at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-rapid-testing.page

 

Please Note: These guidelines are subject to change as the pandemic continues to evolve and updated information is received by City and State agencies.

Revised International and Domestic Travel Advisory Guidelines

Effective: January 6, 2022

Revised International and Domestic Travel Advisory Guidelines:

Out of precaution at this time the Elementary schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn will require all Faculty, Staff and Students to follow the CDC Travel guidelines for vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals for International Travel

This will apply to ALL International and Domestic Travel.

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 1 day before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States.

International Travelers

Fully Vaccinated

If You Are NOT Fully Vaccinated

In addition to the recommendations above:

If You Recovered from COVID-19 Recently

If you recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days (regardless of vaccination status), you do NOT need to get a test 3-5 days after travel. People can continue to test positive for up to 90 days after diagnosis and not be infectious to others. You also do not need to self-quarantine after travel. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms after travel, isolate and consult with a healthcare provider for testing recommendations.

Domestic Travel:

Quarantine is not required following Domestic Travel. All Domestic travelers should adhere to the following recommendations:

  • Monitor your child for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and contact your Healthcare provider if your child develops symptoms.
  • Keep your child home if they are sick and experience any COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, chills, new cough, new loss of taste or smell, and new shortness of breath, even if the symptoms are mild.
  • Mild symptoms such as a runny nose or backache have been mistaken for other illnesses and have turned out to be COVID-19.
  • Call the school to report any illness or positive test results for COVID-19.

 

Please Note: These guidelines are subject to change as the pandemic continues to evolve and information is shared by city and state agencies.

Schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn reserve the right to implement COVID safety and health guidelines above the required city and state requirements.

Welcome 2022!

COVID-19 Reminder: Help “Slow the Spread”

The Catholic Academies and Parish Schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn plan to continue to safely offer “in person” instruction for our school communities.

Until further notice, All Catholic Academies and Parish Schools will continue to follow all the current COVID Safety and Health Guidelines while the COVID Response Team assesses the new CDC and NYS DOH Updated Guidelines released during the Christmas Recess, we await information from Mayor Adams, and we continue to monitor the positive case reporting within our schools.  Updates will be shared with the schools during this time.

We can all help “slow the spread” of COVID-19 by being mindful of the school’s COVID Safety and Health Protocols.  With the current Omicron surge it is most important that the administration, faculty, staff, students, and parents please help “slow the spread” by 

  • Staying Home if you are sick
  • Do not come to school if you or a household family member has pending COVID test results
  • Follow the COVID Safety and Health Protocols
  • Consult your healthcare provider regarding COVID testing and vaccines 

We thank you for your continued support and cooperation in helping to “slow the spread” and keep our school communities healthy and safe.

May God Continue to Bless Us All in the New Year!

Message from Diocese of Brooklyn Regarding Mayor’s Announcement

We are aware of the Mayor’s vaccine mandates announced Monday, December 6th, please know that we spoke with our City Hall advocate and here is what we know:

  • Starting Dec. 14th, children ages 5-11 must show proof of vaccination to enter indoor dining, entertainment and performance venues and fitness establishments.
  • New Yorkers 12 and older must show proof of two vaccine doses — unless they have received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine — to enter many indoor spaces.
  • Children ages 5-11 who engage in high-risk extracurricular activities such as sports, band, orchestra and dance must be vaccinated and get their initial shot by Dec. 14th.
  • There is no vaccine mandate to attend school at this time.

SHCA Playground Closure

The playground equipment in the school backyard is closed until a new surface is installed.  The current flooring is in need of repair and replacement and does not provide a safe and stable cushioned surface for our children.  We are looking to provide a new cushioned flooring that will be safe and allow our children full access to the equipment.

Thank you for your patience.  We will update you of our progress.