January 19, 2022: Latest guidance and shifts in COVID protocols

COVID-19 health and safety guidance from the state and local health departments continues to evolve, and we remain committed to providing staff and families with clear, updated information on the latest guidance on COVID-19 testing, quarantine and isolation. 

Effective immediately, Glens Falls City Schools will use the following protocols when allowing individuals to return to school if they have symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19, or are considered exposed to an individual with COVID-19. These protocols are based on the most recent updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health and local health departments. Please know that this information is subject to change at any time. 

Major shift to personal responsibility: Step up, GF Nation!

The state’s approach to pandemic management is shifting to a personal responsibility model. This means:

  • If you/your child test positive for COVID-19 (at a facility or at home), begin five-day isolation immediately. Do not wait for a phone call/letter from a DOH, as case managers are only focusing on high-risk individuals.
  • Calculate your own isolation/quarantine period, with Day 0 being the first day you/child had symptoms, or the day you/child tested positive.
  • Report your own “at-home” test results here, and notify your own close contacts. Also notify the school nurse, if your child tests positive.
  • Download your own isolation paperwork (for adults). Glens Falls students no longer need official quarantine orders to access virtual Google Meets during their isolation/recovery.

Our state and local departments of health are no longer contact-tracing positive COVID cases. As such, GFSD is no longer contact-tracing positive cases among students or staff. Due to our layered mitigation strategies in school buildings (ie. “always-on” mask wearing, social distancing, air purifiers, hand hygiene, etc.) COVID exposure in school remains comparatively quite low. 

Please note that the district may contact-trace a positive case for staff and students at high risk for severe disease, as well as in times and locations where there may be fewer layers of mitigation in place (ie. classes with students who are unable to wear a mask due to a documented medical issue and/or disabilities). These situations may result in a student or staff member being excluded from school and asked to stay home and quarantine for five to 10 days. 

Regardless of whether or not there is a known exposure to COVID-19, it is very important that students/staff who are sick do not attend school. 

If a student/staff member has COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Regardless of vaccination status, if a person has COVID-19 symptoms they must have a lab negative PCR test, a lab negative rapid/antigen test, or two negative over-the-counter (i.e., at-home or take-home) antigen tests taken 36 hours apart, in order to return to school. 
    • Students showing any symptoms at school will be sent home immediately.
    • When picking up their child, parents/guardians may request two over-the-counter antigen tests and an attestation form, provided by the school district.
    • If parents/guardians are presenting the district with two negative over-the-counter antigen tests (from any source), they must also present the signed attestation form before a student can return. 
    • If faculty/staff members need assistance finding a rapid test, contact your immediate supervisor.
  • In addition to a negative test result(s), symptomatic individuals must:
    • Be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications;
    • Not have a runny nose or cough severe enough to make mask wearing difficult or unhygienic; 
    • Be well enough to participate in school; and
    • Meet other school or district requirements to return to school after a non-COVID illness. 
  • If a person tests positive for COVID-19, please follow the guidance below. 
  • Please also note:
    • If a healthcare provider makes a diagnosis of a confirmed non-COVID-19 acute illness (ie. laboratory-confirmed influenza or strep throat) AND COVID-19 is not suspected, then a note signed by the healthcare provider explaining the alternate diagnosis may be provided to allow a student, teacher, or staff member to participate in school without COVID-19 testing. 
    • Students with symptoms that are attributable to pre-existing medical conditions (e.g., migraines, allergies) and are not new or worsening do not require school exclusion or testing. 

If a student/staff member tests positive for COVID-19:

  • Regardless of vaccination status, if a student/staff member tests positive for COVID-19 they must isolate for a full five days. Students may return to school after day five if they are asymptomatic or if symptoms are resolving/improving. 
    • For example:
      • Day 0: Symptom onset or tested positive.
      • Day 1: Stay home
      • Day 2: Stay home
      • Day 3: Stay home
      • Day 4: Stay home
      • Day 5: Stay home
      • Day 6: Return to school if asymptomatic, or if symptoms are resolving. 
  • If a person tests positive for COVID-19 and took an over-the-counter (i.e., at-home, take-home) antigen test, report the results to Warren Co. Public Health here.
  • In order for students/staff members who have tested positive and have had symptoms to return to school after five days, they must:
    • Be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
    • Be symptom-free or symptoms are resolving/improving.
  • State guidance states that all individuals should wear a well-fitting mask around others (at home, and in public) for a full 10 days following the first day of symptoms (or the date of a positive test, if the student is asymptomatic). 
  • Anyone who is moderately or severely immunocompromised should follow the standard 10-day isolation guidance issued previously.

grid graphic for determining isolation time frames

If a student/staff member has been exposed (close contact) to COVID-19:

(For example: a household family member has tested positive, or a close sports contact is positive)

  • If the exposed person is up-to-date on their COVID vaccinations as defined by the CDC (boosted if eligible), they may come to school.  Students eligible for boosters, but not boosted cannot participate in extracurricular/sports activities for five days.
  • If the exposed person tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, they may come to school. 
  • If the exposed person is not up-to-date on their COVID vaccination and has not tested positive in the last 90 days, they quarantine for at least five days after their last close contact with an individual with COVID-19.
    • Day 0: Date of exposure.
    • Day 1: Stay home
    • Day 2: Stay home
    • Day 3: Stay home
    • Day 4: Stay home
    • Day 5: Stay home
    • Day 6: Return to school as long as no symptoms have developed. 
  • State guidance states that all individuals should wear a well-fitting mask around others (at home, and in public) for a full 10 days following the date of exposure. 

grid graphic for determining quarantine time frames

The district is still conducting weekly asymptomatic surveillance testing for student-athletes, faculty/staff members, and any student whose parent/guardian requests it. Nurses will provide general student rapid-testing (by parent request only) as they are able to fit it into their days. Please use THIS FORM to provide consent for testing.

Additional quarantine and isolation information can be found on our local county department of health website, as well as the New York State Department of Health and CDC websites:

Thank you for your continued partnership as we work to keep our students and staff healthy, and our students in school.