Dear Minisink Valley school community:
We are looking forward to welcoming back our hybrid, in-person instruction students on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
As part of this, we continue to consult with Orange County Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman and Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, in addition to our daily monitoring of updated guidance from the state DOH and governor’s office.
The most critical areas we review daily include: Orange County’s COVID-19 positivity rate; the COVID-19 positivity rate in our own greater Minisink Valley communities, as reported by parents and staff; updated guidance from the Orange County DOH; and our ability to safely and properly staff our buildings.
Additionally, some other information that’s important to share for your awareness:
Last fall, Gov. Cuomo implemented the New York State Cluster Action Initiative that designates certain geographic areas in the state “yellow, orange or red zones” based on certain target metrics related to the COVID-19 positivity and hospitalization rates.
New York State Cluster Action Initiative
Orange County is currently not included in areas of the state designated by New York State’s Cluster Initiative as “yellow,” “orange” or “red,” which is based on COVID-19 prevalence. However, Minisink Valley wants to be proactively prepared, particularly because increasing infection rates in the area.
Each color designation comes with various restrictions for businesses, gatherings and schools.
If Minisink Valley is ever deemed to be in a micro-cluster zone, the state will require we test a specified percentage of all in-person students and staff for COVID-19 over a given period of time.
The ability for Minisink Valley to remain open for in-person, hybrid instruction will depend on our success in getting enough voluntary consents for student/staff testing, and how our school community’s test results compare to the overall population.
We are still waiting for finalized details about the testing and consent process from local health officials and will share that information with you as soon as possible.
As always, we will continue to work closely our Orange County Department of Health and New York State Department of Health partners to continue to safeguard the health and safety of our students and staff.
Please continue to review communications from your building’s principal and the district’s website.
This is another opportunity for us to remind every Minisink Valley family of the following:
- Avoid large gatherings.
- Wear masks.
- Wash your hands
Thank you for your ongoing support and patience.
Brian C. Monahan