Hampton Bays Amends COVID-19 Quarantine Period - 27 East

Hampton Bays Amends COVID-19 Quarantine Period

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Hampton Bays Superintendent Lars Clemensen unveils new COVID-19 quarantine guidelines during the January 11 board of education meeting.

Hampton Bays Superintendent Lars Clemensen unveils new COVID-19 quarantine guidelines during the January 11 board of education meeting.

Desirée Keegan on Jan 12, 2022

Hampton Bays School District officials are electing to adopt Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state-amended and Suffolk County Department of Health Services-approved guidelines to shorten the COVID-19-positive quarantine period from 10 days to five, pending an improvement in symptoms. However, this will not include the elementary school until KN-95 masks are available for kids and distance requirements can be met.

“Essential businesses and establishments, like schools … were seeing significant staffing shortages. We all want to get some staff back as quickly as possible, and we’re going to do it carefully,” Superintendent Lars Clemensen said during the January 11 Board of Education meeting where the new rules were unveiled. “The pandemic has progressed. Families have been remarkable in being understandable and patient. This is the new rules of the road.”

On Christmas Eve, the New York State Department of Health issued an advisory message saying essential workers who test positive can return to work following five days of isolation if symptoms resolve or it an infected person is asymptomatic. Clemensen said besides a fever, the CDC says it’s most concerned with a runny nose or disruptive cough. After day five, well-fitting masks like a KN-95 or better must be worn for an additional five days. December 27, the CDC decided to change its decision on quarantining, nationally, to include everyone, not just essential workers. Eventually, the state and county aligned its guidance with the CDC. Those who are vaccinated and boosted, or those ineligible for a booster, do not need to quarantine, but need to take a test on day five, if possible, and must wear a mask.

Close contacts that are unvaccinated have to quarantine for five days. Upboosted do not, but need to wear a mask.

Students who are vaccinated and not boosted or unvaccinated cannot participate in after-school activities, like sports, for 10 days.

District offices will have KN-95 masks reserved for those who were previously positive and coming out of isolation or are designated a close contact, Clemensen said.

On January 10, the high school reported 14 new positive coronavirus cases — 12 in students. From January 4 through Monday, the high school announced 75, in 62 students and 12 teachers. At the middle school, four positives were reported Monday. Across the last seven days, there were 34 new cases, of which 25 were students, eight teachers and one other a staff member.

At the elementary school, students who are quarantined due to close contact and who do not end up testing positive and are symptom-free can return on day six. On Monday, eight new COVID-positive cases were reported — in six students and two teachers. From January 4 through January 10, 45 new cases were revealed — in 37 students, five teachers and three staff members.

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