Schools & Childcare

School Reopening Information

As families and policymakers make decisions about their children returning to school, it is important to consider the full spectrum of benefits and risks of both in-person and virtual learning options.  Everyone is understandably concerned about the safety of staff and children at school in the wake of COVID-19. Schools are required to adhere to the NYSDOH guidance and submit any questions regarding their safety plan to the NYSDOH, via e-mail:

SchoolQuestionsCOVID@health.ny.gov 

Below please find the OCDOH FAQs along with numerous helpful links:

  1. OCDOH School COVID-19 FAQ - 8.12.2020 (updated 10.21.2020)
  2. NYSDOH Pre K- Grade 12 Master Guidance - 7.13.2020
  3. FDA basic testing
  4. CDC guidance for cloth face coverings  
  5. Immunization Guidance PHA# 10 - 7.20.2020
  6. Influenza letter - 7.30.2020
  7. Pre-school letter and form – 8.11.2020
  8. Sample COVID-19 Sign In Log
  9. OCDOH Close Contact ID for Contact Tracing- Schools 
  10. School Surveillance Letter 2020-2021
  11. School Surveillance Reporting Form 2020-2021School Surveillance Reporting Form 2020-2021

The following Q and A lists questions not included in the attached FAQ: 

Immunization PHA# 10 – 7.20.2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the delivery of vaccination services. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer childhood vaccines have been administered during the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 19, 2020, the New York State Department of Health reported that doses of pediatric vaccines administered in NYS (outside of NYC) dropped by approximately half in late March through mid-April 2020, compared to the same time period in 2019. Delaying vaccinations can leave children vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases and can result in outbreaks such as measles and pertussis. 

As schools finalize their plans for safe reopening in the fall, please consider compliance with school immunization requirements in accordance with New York State Public Health Law Section 2164 is expected in the upcoming 2020-21 school year. Public Health Alert #10 was distributed to all medical providers in Orange County. 


Influenza letter to parents and staff 7.30.2020

Due to the potential for a second wave of COVID-19 this fall coinciding with the flu season, this year like no other, it is instrumental to increase awareness of the importance of timely flu vaccination for faculty, staff, volunteers, families and students.

The Orange County Department of Health and the Orange County Medical Society want you to be aware that Influenza (also known as “flu”) season is on its way.  The flu is a serious contagious respiratory illness that can be mild to severe and can sometimes lead to death.  Flu symptoms include fever/chills, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, muscle/body aches, headache, tiredness, and vomiting/diarrhea.  

We strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated before flu begins spreading in our communities. Everyone six months of age and older without contraindications is recommended to receive seasonal flu vaccine.  Young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, and people 65 years of age and older are at an increased risk for flu complications.  


School Surveillance Letter 2020-2021 8.12.2020

Due to the potential for a second wave of COVID-19 this fall coinciding with the flu season, this year like no other, it is instrumental to have timely school absenteeism reporting. Please find enclosed the revised absenteeism reporting form along with the yearly school surveillance letter. It will be imperative to have these syndromic data reported to OCDOH every Monday and Wednesday that schools are in-session. Any school that is sending students to school in-person should be reporting to OCDOH.

 

CARES Child Care Scholarship

The Child Care Council of Orange County has announced that income-eligible essential workers can seek a CARES Child Care Scholarship. The funding for scholarships comes from the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided New York State with $163.6 million of emergency relief for the child care system. The state is using a portion of the money to provide free child care for income-eligible essential workers. 

According to the Child Care Council, essential workers who use a regulated child care provider will receive a scholarship for the cost of care as long as the funding is available. All licensed and regulated providers who are caring for essential workers are eligible to participate. Anyone who meets the definition of an essential employee and has child care needs can register at CARES Child Care Scholarship Parent. Registrants will then be contacted to obtain information about their household and child care provider.

For more information, contact Linda Martini at the Child Care Council of Orange County at 294-4012, extension 222.