Nov. 13 Parent Update: Testing out of a travel quarantine; ripple effects on Glens Falls school operations

Thanksgiving is here, and we are very grateful to every family in our school community who has worn masks, washed hands, and kept distance from friends and neighbors alike. These habits may grow increasingly irritating, as we are all sick and tired of this pandemic and what COVID prevention requires of us. But YOUR actions as a family—and OUR actions as a school community—have kept our schools open for learning, meeting the desire of 74% of district families who chose in-person school.

That’s why we implore you to keep up your guard against COVID infection.

As coronavirus cases climb around New York State, Governor Cuomo’s Cluster Action Initiative designates red, orange, and yellow zones around any localized spike in positive cases (COVID microclusters: What the red, orange, and yellow zones mean). Even at the “lowest” designation of yellow, Glens Falls City Schools would be required to randomly COVID test 20% of our in-person students and faculty every week in order to remain open. That equates to roughly 445 students and staff members district-wide, every week. We simply do not have the capacity or resources to meet this requirement, which would force our schools to close and lessons to go fully remote. (See ‘Yellow zone’ rules rattle Syracuse, other schools; in-person learning in jeopardy for context on how Central New York schools are currently responding.)

The threshold for Warren County to enter a yellow zone is not too far away: Geographic area has 7-day rolling average positivity above 3.5% for 10 days AND Geographic area has 15 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents on 7-day average. Family travel outside our county for Thanksgiving or other events could quickly turn our area into a hotspot. (See County administrator: Family exposes school, first responders to COVID after Rochester visit)

If your family travels out of state anyways, the new travel quarantine rules are as follows:

  • Every family member must obtain a COVID test in the state you’re visiting within three days of departure back to New York.
  • Once home in New York, all must quarantine for three days.
  • On day 4 of your quarantine, your family must obtain another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, you may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.
  • If any member of your family does not have both the out-of-state COVID test and the in-state COVID test, he/she will be required to quarantine at home for 14 days upon returning.

Please consider your options very carefully before deciding on how to celebrate Thanksgiving. We remain very grateful for your diligence in keeping your family and our school community healthy and secure.