Important Update from Nurse Elena – October 23, 2020
Thank you for helping keep our community safe and complying with the rules and requirements. As a non-public school, we are obligated to follow the NYS DOH and NYC DOE guidelines. Each week, the rules are adjusted slightly and I am writing to inform you of the most recent changes. Each change is important for every family to understand.
Presumed Positive 48-hour Rule.
A child with any symptoms must remain home and be tested to return to school. New guidance requires if we do not have results in 48 hours, we must presume it is a positive case and proceed accordingly. In other words, if 48 hours pass after symptoms present and we do not have results from that family, Garden will go Remote for all students and notify the health department. If a family is opposed to having a test, quarantine alone is not enough. This makes communication with school (even if over a weekend or holiday) and immediate testing critical.
Rapid Test Alone is Not Enough to Return to School.
The rapid test is convenient and many have used it. However, it is no longer enough to return to school. When a rapid test is taken, a culture can also be sent to a lab for confirmation testing. The result of this lab confirmed test is now also required before returning to school. Simply inform your doctor or HCP before having the rapid test administered to make sure there is a plan for lab confirmation.
Release from Isolation Rule.
Once isolated for either close contact or for a positive test, it is not up to the school to determine when you may be released. This is decided by the local health department.
If your child is diagnosed with other communicable diseases, the doctor must provide alternative diagnoses and it must be lab confirmed (as for strep throat, flu). The diagnosis of Viral Upper Respiratory Infection is not an acceptable diagnosis for a return to school.
Don’t forget that these rules are mandated by state and city law and leave little room for us to bend. We are not able to look at some symptoms as minor; we are not able to permit a child to return to school without a lab confirmed negative test; and we are not permitted to allow a child to return to school without the doctor’s clearance.
Thank you as we navigate the changing landscape and let me know if you have any questions.