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Yellow Zone: what it means for students and staff

 

Governor Cuomo recently discussed the infection rate in Monroe County, and the concern of ‘micro-clusters’ with higher-than-average COVID-19 cases.

 

Monroe One BOCES now falls under a yellow zone designation under the NYS Micro-Cluster Strategy.

Micro-Cluster strategy explained

 

What this means for schools:

 

In order to continue in-person instruction, schools in a yellow zone will be required by the state to test 20% of their students and staff for COVID-19 every week.

 

What this means for students and staff:

 

  • The testing requirement is for our hybrid (in-person) learners and staff
  • Testing must be conducted weekly for as long as we remain in the Yellow Zone (at minimum 14 days - NYS will review our designation after 14 days)
  • We will be required to rotate students and staff being tested to meet the 20% mark each week
  • If a district is unable to meet this requirement, everyone will be moved to remote learning
  • Testing could begin as soon as next week. You will be notified ahead of time if you are selected for the randomized testing
  • The rapid test will be a less-invasive nasal swab, and will not be as involved as the standard testing you’ve seen elsewhere.

 

What is happening this week:

 

  • The state is deploying rapid-testing kits to specific counties that are seeing an uptick or cluster in COVID-19 cases.
  • We are working closely with the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) to create a procedure for testing and reporting to the state.
  • We will communicate this plan, as well as the groups for testing, as soon as possible.

 

Actions we can all take now:

 

On Monday, the Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Michael Mendoza, said schools remain one of the safest places to be during this pandemic. This is due to our health and safety protocols in place.

We continue to urge students and staff to help control the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the following guidelines at all times:

 

  • When interacting with individuals who are not part of your household, wear a mask and stay six feet apart
  • Avoid large gatherings, especially inside a home or other enclosure
  • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and consult with your health care provider

If you have ongoing questions about the Coronavirus, please call the Monroe County COVID-19 Hotline at 753-5555 or email them at covid19@monroecounty.gov.

 

What happens next?

 

We are working to put a plan in place to begin testing next week, which will most likely occur on campus with trained staff members. Dr. Mendoza explained that these will be less invasive tests than commonly seen.

We will continue to update you with the latest information on what to expect as we work to comply with these newest requirements.

 

Parent Communication

 

Parents and guardians, please note: communication from Monroe One BOCES will primarily come through your ParentSquare account. This will come to you through your email and/or phone number you provided through SchoolTool. You will need to sign-in in order to access certain forms and information. 

Please visit Monroe.edu/ParentSquareInfo for more information. 

 

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation as we all continue to keep our school community safe and healthy.