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Contact Tracing

Contact Tracing

Below are the steps we use for contact tracing within the Onteora Central School District. These steps honor the required confidentiality needed when discussing an individual’s medical history.  It should be noted that each situation is handled on an individual basis.

1.    Contact tracing begins when healthservices or school building nurse/administration are notified by either the Ulster County Department of Health or are provided test results by a staff or student’s healthcare provider indicating a positive PCR COVID test.

2.    Once notified, the building nurse looks to find out the following information:

a.    When was the PCR test given (the date)?

b.   When did the individual's symptoms begin?

 3.    Contact tracing will begin looking 48 hours prior to the start of symptoms.

a.    For example: If a test was completed Saturday but symptoms began Friday, tracing would begin from the previous Wednesday.

 4.    School building nurse will work with the individual that is positive or if they are not able to self-report, appropriate school staff to determine the following:

a.    What buildings, classrooms, and locations the individual was in from 48 hours before symptoms started to when the individual was not in school.

b.   If the individual is a student, nursing staff will work with classroom teachers and school staff. For positive students, the following questions will be asked: 1. Were they in a K-12 classroom? 2. Was  everyone around them correctly wearing a mask (over their mouth and nose)? 3. Was anyone within 3 feet of them?

c.    If the individual is a staff member, contact tracing is considered for  anyone within 6 feet masked or unmasked of the individual for a minimum of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period.

d.   Nursing staff will work with administrators and classroom teachers to determine during periods where masks were not in place ( i.e., lunch) where the student was sitting and who was within 6 feet for 15 minutes over a 24 hour period.

e.    Nursing staff will also work with transportation to determine if students were within 6 feet of each other on the bus.

f.     Nursing staff, if appropriate, will also work with administration and athletics to determine if contact tracing needs to be completed for any students participating in sports programs.

 5.    Once contact tracing is completed, all identified direct contacts will have parents notified and will be given a letter indicating that they are quarantined.

 6.    Staff or students who are identified as a direct contact who are vaccinated may be exempt from quarantine if they are not experiencing any symptoms. It is recommended that either vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals who are exposed to an individual who tested positive to be PCR tested for COVID-19 within 3-5 days after exposure.

 7.    The quarantine date starts with the last date of exposure (when they last had contact with the identified positive individual).

 8.    The names of quarantined individuals will be sent to

 9.    Heath services will notify Ulster County Department of Health of any individuals who test positive (if they have not been made aware) and any individuals who need to quarantine.

 10.  During the quarantine/isolation period, building nurse staff will check in with  any students or staff quarantined or positive.

 11.                Shortly before the individual's quarantine or isolation period has been completed, school nurse staff will reach out to all quarantined individuals to ask if they are having any symptoms,  have spoken with the Dept of Health or have been provided a release from quarantine/isolation.

 12.  All individuals who are either in isolation or are quarantined must receive clearance from Health Services to return to any school related activity.

 As explained above,  each situation is unique depending on specific facts and circumstances, therefore, each will be handled on an individual basis.

 Please contact with any questions or needed clarifications.