Dear Putnam Valley Community:
We continue to review the newly released NYSDOH guidance and will adjust accordingly to remain in compliance. In the meantime, our plan is to stay the course as we review the updated guidance with our school attorney, the Putnam County Department of Health, and our school physician.
Updated New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Guidance can be found here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/Pre-K_to_Grade_12_Schools_MasterGuidance.pdf
Some of the most pertinent information in the updated guidance is bulleted below:
Physical distancing for students in the classroom was reduced from 6ft to 3ft; Adults must remain 6ft apart.
CDC no longer recommends the use of barriers (face shields)
Masks are required anytime a student is not eating/drinking or participating in an authorized mask break
Social distancing was reduced from 12ft to 6ft for chorus, band, and gym classes
Identification of contacts to a positive case will continue using 6ft to identify a close contact
Daily health screening and temperature check are still required
Cleaning and sanitizing procedures remain in place
Established transmission rates that could impact instructional delivery at our MS and HS
Updated Guidance for Commencement Ceremonies and School Proms (Issued by NYSDOH): The New York State Department of Health has released updated guidance regarding end-of-year school events, including commencements and the prom. The complete guidance can be found here: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2021/04/doh_covid19_updatedgraduationguidance_041221.pdf
A brief summary of the guidance as it could pertain to Putnam Valley is included below:
Indoor Events – Limited at 150 attendees, COVID testing or proof of vaccination is required.
Outdoor Events – Limited at 200 attendees, COVID testing or proof of vaccination is NOT required.
Travel Advisory Update: Current travel guidance can be referenced here. New York State has announced, effective April 1, domestic travelers are no longer required to quarantine upon arriving back in New York, although self-quarantine is still encouraged. Effective April 10, international travelers are no longer required to quarantine. COVID testing 3-5 days after international travel is recommended. A voluntary 7-day quarantine is recommended for those international travelers who are not yet fully vaccinated.
All travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Regardless of quarantine status, all individuals returning from travel must:
Continue daily symptom monitoring through Day 14;
Continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, through Day 14 (even if fully vaccinated);
Must immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop and contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing.
Positive Cases: Since we returned from spring break we’ve had (3) students at PVHS, (1) adult at PVMS, and (1) adult at PVES. We must continue to stay vigilant and follow all precautions to prevent the virus from spreading. COVID and seasonal allergies share many symptoms. Please give a runny nose and/or a sore throat your attention and contact your school nurse if you need additional guidance.
Athletic Events: As our fall 2 season winds down and our spring athletic season will soon begin. The Section One spectator policy currently allows two guests per athlete for outdoor events. Spectators must continue to abide by all public health precautions, including social distancing, mask-wearing, hand washing, temperature check, and completion of a health screening.
Thank you and have a great weekend.
Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools