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Additional information on COVID-19 zones and consent for testing

Dec. 8, 2020

Dear Heatly families,

I hope you all had a restful weekend with your family.

I wanted to provide some additional information about COVID-19 color zones and the consent for testing form. Last week, we asked families to provide consent for their children to be tested. This is important because Governor Cuomo has specified that schools need to test a portion of its in-person population in the event it receives a color designation (yellow, orange or red).

Albany County is not currently in a color zone, but its numbers continue to indicate we could receive a color designation soon. It is important to have a cross-section of our population consent to be tested. If you have not already done so, please fill out the testing consent form for students. We sent a similar form to our staff members last week.

I also have an update regarding how testing would take place on site in the event we receive a color designation. Instead of administering a noninvasive nasal swab, we have partnered with many schools in the area and will be providing pool testing. Pool testing requires pods of four people where each individual spits into a test tube. If the pod is positive, then those four people will need to seek further testing. Pool testing results should be received within 24 hours of the tests being administered.

I will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available and in the event Albany County receives a color zone designation.

Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you for your continued partnership.

Sincerely,

Kimberly Ross
Superintendent of Schools