SUFSD Covid-19 FAQs

SUFSD FAQs on Covid-19

Updated January 21, 2022

We've put together an FAQ about what happens when a student or employee tests positive for Covid-19 or is identified as a close contact. In light of continually changing guidance from our local, state, and national agencies, the following information is based on our current guidance from Dutchess County and from New York State. We will continue to keep you updated and will update these FAQs as we receive updated guidance.

What happens if a student or employee is experiencing symptoms associated with Covid-19?

If a student or employee is experiencing symptoms associated with Covid-19, they should stay home regardless of vaccination status. Any student who comes to school sick will be sent home.

What happens if a student or employee tests positive?

Please contact your school nurse as soon as possible. If a student/employee tests positive, regardless of vaccination status, they will be excluded from attending school/work for at least 5 days (Day 0 is the 1st day of symptoms or the day of the test if an individual is asymptomatic).

The isolation period has been shortened from 10 to 5 days provided the individual remains symptom-free or symptoms are resolving, including being fever free without fever reducers for 72 hours. Students and employees can return to school/work on day 6 as per these guidelines.

What are the new guidelines for contact tracing?

We have been working closely with Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) to monitor the effects of the Omicron Covid-19 variant and to understand updated New York State Department of Health guidance. Formal contact tracing efforts are winding down, and orders of quarantine will no longer be issued by the County, or by schools on the County’s behalf. Current school guidance emphasizes, and depends on, personal responsibility to contain the spread.

If you are a close contact (e.g., if you live in the same household as someone who tests positive), it is recommended that  you follow the Dutchess County DBCH quarantine guidance outlined below to avoid exposing others. Quarantine is important because even before a person has tested positive for Covid-19 or has any symptoms, they can spread the virus without knowing. Individuals who learn they have been exposed or those who need to quarantine should use the New York State Quarantine Self-Attestation form and are encouraged to engage in TestTo Stay so they may still attend  school during the school day.

Will Spackenkill still notify families/employees if they are identified as closed contacts?

While schools no longer have the authority to mandate quarantine periods on behalf of the New York State Department of Health, we do  still have a responsibility to inform our community members of known close contacts with positive cases in ourschools. As per the NYS guidance, "schools should continue to inform students and families of potential exposures: When known close contact with someone who tested positive for or has symptoms of COVID-19 occurs on the school campus, for example, in a classroom, schools should at least notify parents and guardians of affected students."

Going forward, you will receive an email if a classmate, teacher or bus mate has been identified as having Covid-19 so   that you may test your child or go to your health care professional if they are experiencing symptoms.


What are the quarantine recommendations if a student or employee is identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for Covid-19?

Vaccinated and Boosted Individuals: As per the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health, fully vaccinated students/employees who are deemed close contacts do not need to quarantine at this time. However, please monitor for symptoms and get tested on day 5 if possible.

  • Anyone ages 12 or older and who has received all CDC-recommended Covid-19 vaccine doses, including boosters if eligible and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
  • Anyone ages 5-11 years old who has completed the primary series of Covid-19 vaccines.
  • Anyone who has had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days (tested positive using a viral test, e.g. antigen or PCR).

Unvaccinated Individuals: For unvaccinated individuals who are close contacts, quarantine has been reduced from 10 days to 5 days assuming they do not begin to exhibit symptoms. We strongly encourage those who are identified as a close contact to quarantine to avoid risking exposing others. Provided they are symptom free, students/employees can return to school/work on day 6 following their 5-day quarantine.

We encourage unvaccinated students/staff to attend school/work during the 5-day quarantine period by participating in our Test to Stay Program.

Who is eligible for the Test to Stay Program?

If an unvaccinated student/employee is a close contact, they are eligible to participate in Test to Stay.

  • Spackenkill Employees: Test to Stay is not the same as the weekly surveillance testing for unvaccinated employees.
  • How does the Test to Stay Program Work?
  • You may choose to attend an outside testing site. Families should email your school nurse with the results. The District will accept the results of either a NAAT/PCR or an antigen (rapid) test.

Testing Opportunities

  • Spackenkill is offering free Test to Stay for students/employees from any school on Monday through Friday in the Spackenkill High School Health Office from 6:45 AM to 8:45 AM. Results of the test are available within 15 minutes.This testing program may be used by all students and staff regardless of being enrolled in the test to stay program.
  • Spackenkill offers free surveillance testing for all students and staff.every Tuesday from 2:30 pm until 4:30 pm at the Spackenkill High School Health Office. You must arrive no later than 4:10 pm.
  • For all testing: Please make sure that you register in advance with before arriving to test. Please contact your school nurse with questions about which days to test.
  • FREE AT-HOME COVID-19 TEST KITS - if you were unable to pick up a test kit you can still pick one up by contacting your school nurse.
  • Do NOT go to your building for any reason if you are POSITIVE.