Dear Minisink Valley parents/guardians and staff:
Minisink Valley is introducing an OPTIONAL Test to Stay (TTS) protocol, which has been reviewed and endorsed by Dr. Sara Little, the district’s medical director. This protocol is for any unvaccinated student or staff member who may have been exposed while in school and is identified as a contact in need of quarantine.
Test kits will be provided to you by the school district, and were given to us by the state through Orange/Ulster BOCES.
Instead of needing to quarantine and miss school/work, these students/staff members participate in a rapid testing protocol and are able to remain in school as long as they are not symptomatic. Students/staff who participate TTS and are tested at minimum of two times over a five-day period following exposure.
If, as a result of a TTS rapid test, a student/staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they must be isolated at home for five days from the day of the test result (based on new NYSDOH/OCDOH guidance) or five days after the positive test before returning to school/work.
- TTS eligibility is available only if the school nurse contacts a parent/guardian to advise them of an in-school exposure.
- Students can only participate with permission from a parent/ guardian. If a parent/guardian or staff member declines to participate in the optional TTS protocol, they must follow the quarantine policies and procedures currently in place.
To recap: The optional TTS protocol allows unvaccinated students/staff who have had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 while at school to stay in school if the student/staff member is not showing symptoms. This protocol is a new tool to add to our existing mitigation efforts to keep our schools open for in-person learning and we believe it provides a great opportunity to maximize students’ in-person academic instruction and staff attendance.
Thank you for your continued support of our efforts to safeguard the good health and safety of our students and staff.
Brian C. Monahan