Families: View information about COVID-19 school testing

Dear Goshen families,

Last month, we shared information about the state’s micro-cluster initiative and how it may affect the school district. According to this initiative, some school districts throughout the state may be designated as Yellow, Orange or Red zones based on COVID-19 positivity rates and other factors. These designations are determined by the state.

At this time, our region is not in one of these zones, but we are proactively preparing for this as COVID-19 infection rates increase in our area. If we are 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 option to stay open will depend on if we obtain enough voluntary consent for testing, and how our school community’s test results compare to the overall population. You can learn more about this here https://forward.ny.gov/cluster-action-initiative)

What do we need from you? We ask that you please consider giving your consent for your child to receive free, school-based COVID-19 testing if Goshen is placed in one of these zones in the near future.

If you provide your consent, your child may be randomly selected to receive a free diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus (the BinaxNOW COVID-19 rapid test) that will be administered by clinically-trained personnel from the Horizon Family Medical Group. The testing process will involve inserting a small swab, similar to a Q-Tip, into the front of the nose. This is the simple, quick, shallow nasal swab test. Results are available in 15 minutes and will be communicated with families.

A representative from Horizon Medical Group will notify you via telephone if your child tests positive for COVID-19, whereas negative test results will be provided via letter. Any students who test positive will be sent home and must be kept at home until meeting New York State and Orange County Departments of Health criteria to return to school. Please contact your child’s doctor immediately to review the test results should your child test positive for COVID-19.

Once your child tests, they will not be tested again at school until all consented students have been tested. Testing is not mandatory, and your student will not be excluded from school if they are not tested. However, if we do not meet the state’s testing requirements, the district may have to stop in-person learning and move to fully-remote learning until the zone designation is lifted.

Please read through the testing consent form and submit it by Wednesday, Jan. 20. I hope you will consider consenting to your child being tested to meet the required 20% testing requirement. If we are unable to meet this requirement, we will be unable to remain open for in-person instruction.

Please contact your child’s school nurse with questions. Thank you for your partnership in keeping our schools and community safe.

Sincerely,

Daniel T. Connor
Superintendent of Schools