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District Provides Frequent Updates on COVID Cases

protocolThe reports are coming in on almost a daily basis. Suspected and confirmed COVID cases have been reported at Scarsdale High School and at two elementary schools. With each incident the District enacts their confirmed case protocol to determine if contact tracing is necessary, who, if anyone, will need to be quarantined and if school will have to go all virtual.

According to the District’s restart plan, “The District will coordinate with the Westchester County Department of Health and The District Physician to determine the extent of closure needed to contact trace. Additionally, should school based transmission be suspected the District may close for longer periods according to the advice of our District Physician and the Westchester County/State Departments of Health.”

An email from the district dated October 26 notes that in addition to those who are quarantined due to contact with someone in school, other children have also been quarantined after they were exposed to an infected person out of the district. The note says, “Additionally, there have been many quarantines across the District due to contacts with individuals from outside of our school community. The vast majority of these contacts have resulted from independent youth sports organizations. In some cases, we only receive information about these contacts from a few parents and are left to investigate any other students who may have been involved. We ask that you inform your school nurse immediately if you are contacted by an outside sports organization or the Department of Health due to a COVID-19 exposure. It may feel disruptive to quarantine in these situations, but these practices allow our District to remain open for unaffected students and reduce the possibility of spread in our community.”

The cohort plan and hybrid schedule are designed to limit quarantines to 20-30 students per case, but if students were in contact with others in social situations outside school and without masks, they are also required to quarantine.

Though it seems like there are many cases, in actuality there were only 5 positive cases reported in the Scarsdale School District in the last 14 days, according to the NYS Department of Health. Given that there are 5,635 teachers, students and staff in the district, the percentage of positive cases is de minimus.

statereport

The latest incident caused all in person learning and athletics to be cancelled at Scarsdale High school for Tuesday afternoon October 27 and Wednesday October 28 along with Halloween costume photos for high school seniors planned for Wednesday.

Here's a brief recap of recent COVID incidents and confirmed cases:

October 27 – a positive case at Scarsdale High School, no additional quarantines required.

October 26 – a positive case at Fox Meadow School. No school closure required “as contacts have been limited by the already imposed quarantine.”

October 23 – a positive case at Scarsdale High School

October 22 – a positive case at Scarsdale High School

October 17 – a positive case for a test administrator for the PSAT at Scarsdale High School requiring 76 students to quarantine for 14 days.

The frequent communications to parents should please those who were initially critical of the district for a lack of transparency. Alerts and counts should also serve to remind residents to wear masks, practice social distancing and remain vigilant about the spread of the virus.

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