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Importance of COVID-19 Testing

The Vestal School District recognizes that the opening of Pre-K through grade 12 school for in-person instruction is essential to students’ well-being, health, and academic success for the 2021-22 school year. Under guidance from national, state, and local medical professionals, VCSD is committed to prioritizing in-person instruction while adhering to multiple infection control mitigation strategies. Among the COVID-19 transmission-preventative measures and safeguards are vaccinations and COVID-19 testing/screening.
 
Per the CDC and New York State Department of Health, vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to prohibit the transmission of the COVID pandemic. We at VCSD adhere to the New York State Department of Health mandate that all school personnel - teachers, administrators, and support staff - are required to submit proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing for the virus. The District is currently in the process of ascertaining and quantifying this CONFIDENTIAL information to determine vaccination status for our employees. We encourage and support opportunities for staff and age-appropriate students to access COVID-19 vaccinations at local clinics. Teachers, administrators, and support staff will be permitted to opt out of mandatory weekly screening/testing if documentation is provided of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Vestal School District will follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (DOH) guidance regarding COVID-19 screening/testing. COVID-19 screening/testing identifies individuals infected with COVID-19, including those with/without symptoms who may be contagious. The screening/testing procedure can help identify and isolate positive cases. We at VCSD believe that screening/testing is an important tool and mitigation measure to protect the unvaccinated and vaccinated alike, also ensuring the continuation of in-person instruction for all students.
 
VCSD is in the process of establishing procedures, logistics, and a location for screening/testing for all unvaccinated employees. Communication regarding our screening/testing plan for COVID-19 will be forthcoming as soon as our protocol is finalized.
 
In keeping with our goal of ensuring a healthy, safe, and caring learning environment for this school year, we acknowledge and are grateful for your understanding, caring, and cooperation at this time.

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