COVID-19 Update and "Test to Stay" Info.

Season’s Greetings Holley Families,

It’s been quite some time since I’ve sent a communication regarding COVID-19, and I wanted to share some important information.

We’re currently experiencing more positive COVID-19 cases with our students than in any time during this pandemic. We’re also seeing an increase in the number of students quarantined for being identified as a “close contact” of a positive case.

Since we want everyone in our school community healthy and everyone here at school learning and working in-person (i.e., not isolated or quarantined), here are a few reminders:

  • Mask wearing and physical distancing are still the best ways to prevent being quarantined for those who are not vaccinated. Since maintaining at least 3-6 feet apart from others isn’t always possible (bus riding, etc.), keeping masks on and up (including over the nose) is essential.
  • If identified as a “close contact,” only individuals who are not vaccinated (or vaccinated with COVID-19 symptoms) will be quarantined by the Health Department.
  • The Genesee-Orleans Health Department makes all determinations of close contacts of positive cases that occur in and out of school. We cooperate with them by providing seating arrangements and mask wearing practices of those in close contact with positive cases in school. We also help them with communicating with families when a student is quarantined.
  • We’re not required by NYS this year to send a public notice out each time we have a positive case. However, we are directly informing anyone impacted by positive cases of students and staff in the school district.
In January, Orleans County plans to initiate a voluntary “test to stay” opportunity for individuals who are quarantined due to being identified as a close contact to a positive case.

What “test to stay” is intended to do is to allow unvaccinated students who are issued quarantine orders from the Health Department to attend school. These students would only be able to attend classes during their quarantine period, not after-school, sports or extracurricular activities. If a family chooses to participate, quarantined students who have no symptoms would have to take a rapid test daily before school, and if negative, could attend in-person that day.

We are currently working with other county school districts and the Health Department to determine exactly how we will specifically conduct the “test to stay” plan. These details will be shared with families, especially those who are informed that their child has to quarantine, once the system and tests are in place. It’s important to note that the “test to stay” opportunity will be optional for families, and no student will ever be tested at school without parent knowledge and permission.

Thank you for all you’re doing to remain safe and healthy during this time. I also want to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Holley CSD family to all our students and their families!

Brian Bartalo
Superintendent of Schools

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