Influenza & COVID-19 Virus
*** NEW Information from Saratoga County Department of Public Health Services for students and staff who are directed to quarantine. (11.22.20)
Based on a change of process from Saratoga County, all calls to families/students and staff will be coming from the school district until further notice. Mrs. Sharon D’Agostino, our director of Student Support Services and our COVID liaison to the county will be in contact with any individuals who must take steps related to a positive COVID test or from direct contact with a COVID-positive individual. Should you receive such a phone call, please review the Quarantine Informational Packet - Saratoga Co Health (below) closely regarding the steps that you are to take during the quarantining period. In addition, please remember to stay vigilant in our combined efforts to limit the spread of the virus, particularly during the holidays.
Prevention and Management of any onset of the COVID-19 virus (10.15.20)
We want to remind you of the need for absolute vigilance in maintaining and ensuring the health and safety of us all.
- Masks Matter! Please be sure to remind your child(ren) that masks are to be worn at all times during the day with the exception of when eating and during teacher announced mask breaks. This means keeping the mouth and the nose covered.
- Avoid the Groups! Please be sure to keep yourselves and your children away from large groups where masks are not being worn by all and social distancing is not being practiced.
- Keeping Symptomatic Children Home! When your child has the following symptoms, they are not to attend school:
- Has a temperature of 100.0 or greater
- Feels feverish or has chills
- Has a persistent cough
- Is experiencing loss of taste or smell
- Is fatigued/has a feeling of tiredness
- Has a sore throat
- Experiences shortness of breath or has trouble breathing
- Is nauseous or is vomiting
- Has diarrhea
- Experiences muscle pain or body aches
- Has a headache
- Has nasal congestion/runny nose
The NYS Department of Health requires that:
- Your child may not attend school if they have any of the above symptoms and they must be evaluated by their doctor. In these situations, please call the school’s attendance office or school nurse.
- If your child reports to the nurse’s office with any of the above symptoms, you will be called and must pick up your child.
- If your child was absent or if they were dismissed from school due to symptoms, they must be evaluated by a health care provider. If COVID-19 is suspected, your child will be tested and may return to school only with a negative test result and/or doctor clearance. If your child tests positive, they may return when your local health department clears them. Please do not send your child back to school with their clearance papers until you have spoken to their nurse.
Your child’s doctor may provide your school nurse with a diagnosis of a chronic condition with unchanged symptoms, or a laboratory confirmed illness, such as influenza or strep throat. COVID testing may not be necessary under these circumstances, but that is at the discretion of your provider.
Ballston Spa CSD Health Department
SARATOGA COUNTY - CALL FIRST! (03.13.20)
If you believe you have been exposed or that you have symptoms of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), CALL YOUR DOCTOR. Please do not walk in to your doctor's office or to the Emergency Room and risk exposing the staff and other patients. If you arrive to Saratoga Hospital, you will be directed to a safe entry at a nearby testing location.
For all other questions, call:
NYS Novel Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
Saratoga County Public Health Services:
24-hour emergency line: 518-584-7460
March 6, 2020 COVID-19 Virus Update:
Our additional cleaning efforts continue both in the buildings and on our buses as do our messages to students about good hand washing habits. As noted, when hand washing is not an option, the use of hand sanitizers is an option. To this point, some of you have asked about sending your child in with alcohol-based hand sanitizer. This is allowable and we ask that you instruct your child not to share their sanitizer and that hand washing still is the best defense against spreading germs. Further, helping your student(s) to properly clean their phone and/or other electronic devices every day can also help prevent the spread of germs. There are a number of websites that give proper instruction on this, most of which discourage the use of Clorox wipes and similar products for cleaning electronics/screens.
Regarding the out of state and out of country trips that are scheduled for the spring, we will be making decisions on those in the upcoming days based on guidance and direction from the department of health and the CDC and will notify those students and families affected. *The French Exchange Program trip is cancelled-03.10.20 Finally, in an effort to be as educated and as fact-based as possible in our discussions and our actions, we have added additional information to this webpage. Please continue to check back as we will continue to post new information. If you have specific questions or concerns, please reach out to our BSCSD Health Department staff or the school office where your student attends.
First, it is important to note that, as many of you have already experienced or are experiencing, we are in the midst of our regular cold and flu season and we are cleaning/sanitizing accordingly. It is equally important that we all take preventative measures to contain any spread of germs and any associated illnesses which include:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based sanitizer should be used. (Sanitizers in the schools are alcohol free and should not be used in lieu of washing with soap and water.) Heavily soiled hands should always be washed.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Staying home when you are symptomatic/sick and keeping children home when they are symptomatic/sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Second, it is important that we continue to have fact-based conversations utilizing information from health authorities. The morbidity of the COVID-19 virus, while extremely concerning, is less than 2%. Nonetheless, we are in the process of taking a number of precautionary/preparatory steps which include:
- Preparing for remote management of business and HR functions including our ability to process payroll without interruption
- Ordering additional materials and supplies for our health offices to ensure that our nursing staff has the ability to manage symptoms in students and staff as presented
- Maintaining communication with the NYS Department of Health and the Education Department on recommended steps for prevention and reaction and on any new facts that will impact our preparation plans
- Utilizing cleaning techniques and materials known to prevent the spread of the flu and the flu-related Illnesses. This is in addition to the extensive disinfecting that was done by a cleaning contractor during both the December and February school breaks. In the event of an increase in flu and the flu-related illnesses, we are prepared to close buildings as necessary to repeat the disinfecting and cleaning processes.
Finally, should the district need to close school for more than a few days, we do not have a system wide response that would allow us to continue the education of our students through an electronic platform or otherwise. While many of our high school courses could provide students with additional work, actual instruction could not take place.
Please know that, as always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of this illness. We will continue to update you as we have additional information and certainly in the case of having any confirmed cases of the illness.
Some helpful information can be found via the links below or resources at the bottom of this page:
- When is too Sick for School?
- Preventative measures to the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019
- CDC Guidelines for Handwashing
- Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource – NASP
Flu Shot Clinic Information
The Saratoga County Public Health Nursing Service offers information and clinics periodically. They can be reached at 584-7460.
Flu Decisions and the Schools
Your School Nurse can assist you in making the decision of whether or not to send your child to school. Together we can help prevent the spread of illness and make our school a healthy and safe environment for all.
Students should not return until the fever has resolved and they have been off anti fever medications for at least 24 hours.
If you have specific questions or would like additional information, please contact our District Health Leader.