November 4, 2020
Our school is informing parents and guardians that a student in Rensselaer Junior Senior High School has been diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This person was on school premises the week of October 26, 2020 and did have direct exposure with classmates and teachers. Each of the students and staff members that were exposed have been sent home and will remain in quarantine for two weeks from the last exposure. Our health office is still working to connect with all other students that have been identified as contacts, but are not in school this week.
The Rensselaer City School District will remain OPEN during this time, however grades 9-12 will operate in a fully remote status through next week. Teachers that have not been quarantined will teach from their classrooms. We will return to live classes on Monday, November 16. This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution and due to a quarantine-related staffing shortage.
We continue to work closely with the Rensselaer County Health Department to identify anyone who had close contact with the person to determine if they might have been exposed outside of school. We will follow the NYSDOH established A, B, C’s of contact tracing and the NYSDOH school guidance.
If you or your child are identified as having been potentially exposed, the Rensselaer County Health Department will contact you to ask that you please stay home and monitor for symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or a temperature higher than 100.0°F, and practice social distancing for 14 days from your last contact. If you are not contacted by the health department, you do not need to stay home or exclude yourself from activities at this time.
Parents should continue to monitor their child’s health and the health of their families for COVID-19 symptoms. Children with COVID-19 generally have mild, cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported in some children.
Children with certain underlying medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, or weak immune systems, might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Contact your child’s healthcare provider regarding any concerns.
People without symptoms do not need to seek care or be tested. Those who become ill should contact their healthcare provider. Their doctor, in consultation with public health officials, will determine appropriate care and whether testing is necessary. If your child has been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19, please report this to your school. This information will be kept confidential.
Schools continue to utilize Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations on Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, to reduce viral transmission and keep our children and school personnel healthy and safe. Parents and family members can assist this effort by promoting healthy behaviors and following these practices:
- Stay home from school or work if sick, even if symptoms are mild.
- Wear a face covering in areas where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue (or sleeve), and then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Take care of your health overall. Stay current on your vaccinations, including the flu vaccine, eat well, and exercise to help your body stay resilient.
The New York State Department of Health provides information about COVID-19 and frequently asked questions (FAQ) from parents and concerned family members. The CDC offers tips to keep children healthy during this time.