Community Letter Regarding Confirmed Cases, IHS and CHES Transitioning to Distance Learning
October 21, 2020
Dear Ithaca City School District Community,I have been informed by the Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) of ongoing contact tracing investigations associated with three Ithaca High School students who have tested positive for COVID-19. As the contact tracing is ongoing, and out of an abundance of caution, we will be transitioning to full distance learning at Ithaca High School and Cayuga Heights Elementary for the remainder of the week (Thursday, October 22 and Friday, October 23). At this time, we plan to reopen for in-person learning on Monday, October 26, 2020.
As a reminder, the TCHD protocols upon positive test results are as follows. When a positive case occurs, the TCHD is notified. The TCHD then conducts an interview with the individual who tested positive and notifies anyone who has been in close contact. The TCHD will advise individuals who have been in close contact regarding next steps.
We appreciate the sensitivity around any identifiable cases since in-person instruction has resumed. We are committed to communicating clearly and maintaining the confidentiality of individuals who test positive, as required by federal and state privacy laws. Whenever there is a confirmed case, schools must ensure information is released in a manner that does not allow persons in our school community to be identified.
Unless the Tompkins County Health Department has contacted you, or you yourself have knowingly been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days (closer than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes at a time), you do not need to quarantine or get tested as per NYSDOH guidance. If you have additional questions, please contact your healthcare provider.
If or when more cases are confirmed, the TCHD will continue to communicate with anyone who needs to be notified, and we will immediately notify our school community.
Thank you for all you are doing in the midst of extraordinary circumstances. I wish you safety and strength.
For more information, please see our COVID-19 Screenings, Testing, and Contact Tracing webpage, which includes an FAQ on What if a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19.