(December 15, 2020)
Dear Catskill CSD Community:
This afternoon, at approximately 1:30pm, I was contacted by representatives from the Greene County Department of Public Health, who brought to my attention that a Catskill High School student tested positive for COVID-19. The student’s last day physical day in attendance was on Friday, December 11, 2020. The student began showing symptoms Friday afternoon.
As per protocol, representatives from the Greene County Department of Public Health and I will continue our communications through the evening. GC DOPH is taking the lead role in steps that are necessary, such as contact tracing or additional testing of individuals. If you are contacted by the GC DOPH, please give them your complete cooperation. If you are not directly contacted by the GC DOPH, you do not need to take any action. The District continues to work closely with the GC DOPH and has followed all guidance provided by them.
Out of an abundance of caution, the District will shift to virtual instruction for Catskill Middle and High students only through Wednesday, December 23, 2020. Hybrid in-person instruction will continue at the Catskill Elementary School. Our MS/HS instructional staff will work virtually from home while CES instructional staff will continue to work on campus. On Wednesday, December 16, 2020, our CTE, Heavy Equipment and New Visions students are permitted to continue with their in-person programming. Door-to-door transportation will be provided to students who attend the CTE and Heavy Equipment programs. Transportation for New Visions students will continue as normal. Further communications will be transmitted tomorrow regarding transportation for CTE and Heavy Equipment students for Thursday, December 17, 2020 through Wednesday, December 23, 2020.
Contact tracing and monitoring this incident is critical to the effective functioning of the District. I understand this may cause a temporary inconvenience for our families, but be reassured that safety and well-being is paramount in these uncertain times.
While I understand that you may want additional details, privacy laws prevent us from personally identifying individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Again, I want to reassure you that I take the health and safety of our children and staff very seriously. All buildings on campus continue to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, in accordance with guidance from the New York State Department of Health, the CDC, and our District’s reopening plan. A deeper sanitizing occurs on Wednesdays and Saturdays by a contracted cleaning service. Any students or staff directed to quarantine due to testing positive for COVID-19 or by being identified as a close contact to a positive case must be cleared by their DOH before they can return to school.
A daily screening is done for staff members prior to the start of the school day. A daily screening also occurs with students. I encourage you to check your child’s temperature at home before they come to school. We have also encouraged staff and students to stay home if they are not feeling well. Your cooperation with this screening and with our reopening plan is greatly appreciated and will help lead to a safer school environment.
In closing, if you have particular questions or concerns, you may wish to contact the GC DOPH at (518) 719-3600. In these challenging times, rest assured that the District’s priority is protecting the health, welfare, and safety of students and staff while complying with government orders and guidance related to the opening of schools.
As always, I can be reached at (518) 943-4696 for questions as well.
Dr. Ronel Cook,
Superintendent of Schools