COVID-19 Testing, Protocols, and Contact Tracing.
Marathon complies with DOH/CDC guidance and we do not conduct COVID-19 testing or require testing or antibody testing of students or staff members. The decision of whether a test needs to be conducted should be determined by a healthcare provider or the local department of health. If students and/or staff are mandated by state officials to be COVID-19 tested, the district will work with the department of health to comply.
Cortland County residents who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should call their doctor, who will coordinate any necessary testing. If you are instructed by a medical professional to get tested, follow their instructions for a sample collection and then go directly to your home and DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOME, and isolate yourself from your household to the extent possible until you receive results from your provider. For people who don’t have a primary-care physician, they can call Guthrie Cortland Medical Central at (607) 299-7676, Upstate Medical University at (315) 464-3979 or Cayuga’s Call Center at (607) 319-5708. For additional information on COVID-19 Testing Next Steps click here.
Protocols for Symptomatic Individuals
If a teacher/staff member suspects COVID-related health issues, they are to send the individual to the nurse’s office, where the determination will be made.
Upon entry in the nurse’s office, a student or staff members temperature will be taken. The nurse will do an assessment to determine if they show COVID-related symptoms.
Symptomatic students/staff will be immediately placed in a separate ‘isolation’ area, that is separate from students that visit the health office regularly for care of chronic conditions [such as Asthma preventive treatment, Diabetes, and other chronic syndromes], as well as being kept separate from students that require 1st aid treatment for injuries or bleeding-type wounds.
The ill student or staff member, if not already wearing a mask, will need to now don a facemask (unless medically unable or not developmentally appropriate).
The Nurse may determine the student with symptoms of illness will need to be dismissed to home, and will contact the parent/guardian for prompt pick up of the student. Staff who are ill/symptomatic will be required to contact their Supervisor (or have the nurse contact their supervisor) and go home.
Students with illness awaiting pick up from school will remain in the ‘isolation area’ until parent/guardian arrival. Administration may need to assist with coordination of gathering student belongings and students exiting the building. No outside guests will be allowed in the building to collect the student.
Students and staff who are experiencing COVID symptoms can return to school with documentation from a health care provider evaluation, negative COVID-19 testing, and symptom resolution and no fever for 24 hours with no fever reducing medication, or if COVID-19 positive, the release from isolation.
Isolation areas will be cleaned and disinfected after every encounter of students requiring assessment, and staff will need to ensure that PPE supplies and cleaning supplies are kept stocked.
If the nurse is unavailable, ill staff and students will be sent home for follow up with a healthcare provider.
Positive COVID Tests
If a staff member or student reports having tested positive for COVID-19, the school nurse will notify the Cortland County health department to determine steps needed to be taken for the school community.
- The district will assist the public health department in contact tracing for confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- The district will follow CDC guidelines for “When a confirmed case has entered a school, regardless of community transmission.” These procedures include coordinating with public health, dismissing students and staff (moving to remote instruction for a short period of time when possible), communicating with staff, parents and students, etc.
- Rooms and spaces in which the sick student or employee inhabited will be closed and not used until after cleaning and disinfection has occurred; Opening outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
- Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfection. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible; Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, such as offices, classrooms, bathrooms, lockers, and common areas.
- Once the area has been appropriately cleaned and disinfected it can be reopened for use. Individuals without close or proximate contact with the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 can return to the area and resume school activities immediately after cleaning and disinfection.
- If more than seven days have passed since the person who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary, but routine cleaning and disinfection should continue.
- All decisions about implementing school-based strategies (e.g., dismissals, event cancellations, other social distancing measures) should be made locally, in collaboration with local health officials who can help determine the level of transmission in the community.
Return to School Procedures
The school will follow CDC guidance and local health department guidelines for allowing a student or staff member to return to school after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
- Students and staff who are experiencing COVID symptoms can return to school with documentation from a health care provider evaluation, negative COVID-19 testing, and symptom resolution and no fever for 24 hours with no fever reducing medication.
- If a person is not diagnosed by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) with COVID-19 they can return to school: 14 days after the first day with symptoms;
- If a person is seen by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) they must have a note from the healthcare provider stating they have been diagnosed with another condition and they are clear to return to school.
- If testing is recommended and is negative, the student may return 24 hours after symptoms subside.
- If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider based on a test or their symptoms or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, they should not be at school and should stay at home until: it has been at least fourteen days (ten school days) since the individual first had symptoms.
- If a student or staff member has been exposed to a person who has tested positive, they go on "watch" with the DOH. In this case, they would receive a public health order to either quarantine with an end date for exposure to the virus or isolate if they themselves test positive. Isolation does not have an end date, this ends depending on symptoms. Any exposure to the virus results in a 14-day quarantine no matter the signs or symptoms. Students or staff may be completely symptom-free, but may still be excluded from school for the 14 days.
Marathon CSD cooperates with state and local health department contact tracing. We assist public health departments in knowing who may have had contact at school with a confirmed case by:
- Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members;
- Ensuring student schedules are up to date;
- Keeping a log of any visitors which includes date, time and where in the school they visited; and
- Assisting local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual at school in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program.
- Maintaining confidentiality as required by federal and state laws and regulations.