Message from Superintendent Pirozzolo: Reminder of COVID Health & Safety GuidelinesDear Auburn Families,
Our entire school community – students, parents, and staff – did a tremendous job with our phased-in reopening. It wasn’t easy with all of the health and safety guidelines in place, but everyone pushed through, and because of your efforts, we have been able to keep our doors open.
The Cayuga County Health Department (CCHD) and the Auburn School District have been closely monitoring the COVID cases in our area. Cayuga County has had a significant increase in cases the past couple of weeks, and our school district has seen our first few cases in that timeframe as well. Please know we are doing everything we can possibly do to ensure that our doors remain open while also making sure our students and staff are safe.
Many people are asking what the threshold is for having to close our doors. Governor Cuomo recently outlined a micro-cluster strategy that detects small outbreaks and takes action to eliminate them. Once an area meets certain metrics that demonstrate substantial COVID spread, it may be designated a focus zone, which will directly impact our ability to continue in-person instruction.
If Cayuga County’s COVID-19 positivity rate exceeds a 7-day rolling average of 3.5% for 10 days, all school districts in our county will be required to test 20% of staff and students in order to be able to stay open for in-person instruction. This would be extremely difficult for both the CCHD and the Auburn Enlarged City School District to do for many reasons, so if we do reach the 7-day rolling average of 3.5%, there is a possibility we may need to switch to fully remote instruction. This is just one reason why now more than ever it is so important for our community to follow the health and safety guidelines set by the state.
The rest of the fall and winter will be challenging, but we will continue to monitor the COVID cases in our region, as well as continue to follow the health and safety protocols in our schools to help ensure that we can continue with in-person instruction per our hybrid model. Please remember to keep your child home when sick. Additionally, if your child has been tested for COVID for any reason, he or she cannot return to school until a negative test result can be proven.
Furthermore, with the holidays approaching, we understand that many may travel to see loved ones. Should you choose to travel to a restricted state listed on the New York State Travel Advisory website, please remember you will need to quarantine for two weeks upon returning home, and your child cannot return to school until the quarantine period is complete.
I understand how difficult all of these guidelines can be to follow, but I know we can get through this together. Thank you all for your continued patience as we navigate our way through this unique school year.
Jeffrey A. Pirozzolo
Superintendent of Schools
Auburn Enlarged City School District