- Westmoreland Central School
District Distributing Free COVID-19 At-Home Tests on January 2 from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
January 1, 2022
Dear School Community:
Happy New Year – I hope everyone had a great holiday break.
I would like to share a few important updates concerning COVID-19 – particularly testing and new procedures we hope to implement soon.
In an effort to continue to prioritize in-person instruction, Governor Hochul amended the quarantine protocols for schools. As part of the new protocols, counties have the option to adopt a “Test-to-Stay” policy. Our county, Oneida County, did adopt the policy, allowing each school district in the county to either opt in or out. The Westmoreland Central School District is opting in.
The “Test-to-Stay” policy permits all students who have been issued a quarantine order due to being a close contact to an infected individual in school, on a school bus or during certain supervised extracurricular activities and low risk sports, to submit to testing rather than be quarantined. Specifically, if students test three times during a seven-day period – and all the tests are negative – they can remain in school. There are also some additional requirements that need to be met by both families and the district. This information will be outlined in our “Test-to-Stay Plan,” which was submitted to Oneida County for approval earlier this week. Once approved, the plan will be fully implemented and posted on the district website. A potential obstacle is having enough tests. Already this school year, we have had hundreds of students quarantined for 10 days due to being a close contact on a school bus. So – “Test-to-Stay” is a welcomed change.
The district received a supply of home testing kits from the New York State Department of Health. They can be given to families who would like to test their child(ren) upon returning to school on January 3 or they can be used in school once our “Test-to-Stay” policy officially begins. If you would like a home testing kit, the district is distributing kits on Sunday, January 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the district office. All you need to do is pick one up, administer the test at home and contact the district and Oneida County Department of Health if the result is positive. Importantly – you must contact the Oneida County Department of Health if a test is positive because the district did not administer the test.
As always, thank you for your patience and understanding. I will let you know when our “Test-to-Stay” policy is fully running.
All of us here at WCS wish you and your family a happy, safe and healthy 2022.
Superintendent of Schools