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  7. COVID-19 Testing, Contact Tracing...

Averill Park CSD Families,


Yesterday, Thursday, September 2, the New York State Department of Health finally issued interim guidance for classroom instruction this school year. The 12-page guidance document addresses the minimum expectations for instruction and operations.

A Commissioner’s Determination on COVID-19 testing in schools was also released on Thursday.

At this time, we are working with the Rensselaer County Department of Health and Questar III BOCES to facilitate the resources required to implement the Commissioner’s Determination on the testing of students, staff, and contractors. It is important to note that funding has not been released by the state to allow schools to fulfill this new requirement.

Per the Commissioner’s Determination, all school personnel must submit to weekly testing for the virus or provide proof of full vaccination. For now, this is a test mandate, not a vaccination mandate. Moreover, schools must offer screening testing to unvaccinated students (whose parents or guardians consent to such testing) on a weekly basis in areas identified by the CDC as having moderate, substantial or high transmission rates. Currently, the CDC says all counties in the state have either substantial or high rates of community transmission of COVID-19. If a county’s rate drops to low, the student testing requirement no longer applies.


During the upcoming 2021-22 school year, COVID-19 contact tracing and quarantining will be handled differently than it was last year. There are many factors that will go into these decisions, including vaccination status, symptoms, physical distancing, and more.

A new algorithm to help determine who will need to quarantine has been developed by a group representing the Capital District and has been adopted by all local Departments of Health, including Rensselaer County.

The below document will be used in the identification of close contacts and those who will need to quarantine. Thank you for remaining flexible, adaptive, and patient as we enter the 2021-22 school year.

Contact Tracing & Quarantine Document