ECDOH Adopts New COVID-19 Standards


On January 4th, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) updated its recommendations for isolation and quarantine protocols.  During a meeting on January 7th, the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) indicated that they have also adopted these new standards.

Both NYSDOH and ECDOH made the following recommendations which apply to both our students and staff:

For isolation and quarantine of the general population, the CDC Recommendations are as follows:

If exposed to COVID-19 (close contact), quarantine as follows, where day 0 is the last date of exposure:

Note: In schools, close contact is defined as less than 3 feet for more than 15 minutes while masked or less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes when unmasked.

  • If not fully vaccinated quarantine for 5 days and wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days
    • In other words, if exposure happened on Monday, Monday would be day “0”.  Quarantine would be Tuesday-Saturday.
    • If possible, test at day 5 with either a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT, e.g., PCR) or antigen test.
    • If symptoms appear, quarantine and seek testing. In this situation, quarantine would end when the test is negative. If testing is not done, isolate according to the guidance below.
  • If fully vaccinated (regardless of booster status) no quarantine is required, but these individuals should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure.
    • If possible, test at day 5 with either a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT, e.g., PCR) or antigen test.
    • If symptoms appear, quarantine and seek testing. In this situation, quarantine would end when the test is negative. If testing is not done, isolate according to the guidance below.

If you test positive for COVID-19

  • Isolate for 5 days, where day 0 is the day of symptom onset or (if asymptomatic) the day of your positive test.
    • If asymptomatic at the end of 5 days or if symptoms are resolving (no fever for 24+ hours without fever reducing medication, other symptoms improving), isolation ends and the individual should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days.
    • Individuals who are moderately-severely immunocompromised should continue to follow standard (i.e., not shortened) isolation guidance.
    • Individuals who are unable to wear a well-fitting mask for 5 days after a 5-day isolation should also follow standard (i.e., not shortened) isolation guidance.
    • When an individual returns to school during day 6-10, they must be at least six feet from others if they need to remove their mask. (e.g. for meals)

We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and anticipated cooperation with this new guidance.  

James E. Bialasik

Superintendent of Schools