Posted on 08/13/2020

Newcomb Central School 

Reopening Plan


COVID-19 Testing & Contact Tracing

Closure Triggers & Return to School Protocols


If Newcomb Central School is informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by an individual within the school facilities or on school grounds, inclusive of students, faculty, staff and visitors, the School’s physician assistant, who is NCS’ COVID-19 liaison to the health department(s), will notify the State health department and the Essex County Public Health Department, as well as the local health department where the individual resides, if different.  The School physician assistant will also reach out to the county health department should there be a suspect case or other COVID-19 related concern.  These communications will occur via the designated COVID-19 liaisons for the local health departments.

Local Health Department

Designated COVID-19 Liaison to NCS

Contact Information

Essex County- DOH

Essex County Emergency Services

Linda Beers- Director of Public Health

Susan Allott- Director of Preventative Services

COVID Liaison for School Districts

Wendy Sayward

Tiffany Lee- COVID Liaison for School Districts

518-873-3515 (Office phone)

518-873-3514 (Office phone)

518-873-3900 (Office phone)

518-873-3900 (Office phone)

Warren County Health Services

Warren County Emergency Services

Ginelle Jones- Director, PH/Patient Services

COVID Liaison for School Districts

Pat Belden

Brian LaFlure- Director

Amy Drexel- Deputy Director

COVID Liaison for School Districts

518-761-6580 (Office phone)

518-321-0150 (Cell phone)

518-761-6537 (Office phone)

518-761-6490 (Office phone)

Hamilton County

Erica Mahoney- Director of Public Health

Barbara Taylor- Emergency Preparedness Coordinator

518-648-6497 (Office phone)

518-648-6497 (Office phone)

Symptomatic individuals, close contacts of COVID-19 suspected or confirmed individuals, or those with recent international travel or inter- or intra-state travel to areas with widespread transmission of COVID-19 as designated through the New York State Travel Advisory, will be identified by Newcomb Central School via the digital app to be used as a screening tool for students and staff.  The screening will occur daily for staff and periodically for students.  Anyone who develops symptoms while at school will be referred to and/or report to the health office for assessment by the school physician assistant or substitute RN.  

Collaboration will occur with the designated Essex County Public Health liaison and/or the school medical director and/or the school physician assistant to determine when/if referral for COVID-19 diagnostic testing is warranted for students or staff.  

Individuals who have returned from hotspot areas as identified through the NYS Travel Advisory must complete mandatory quarantine prior to returning to school.

If a student/staff member fails a daily temp or screening questionnaire the parent/guardian/emergency contact/staff member will be advised by the school physician assistant (or substitute nurse) of the need to have the individual stay home, or if performed in-school, to be sent home immediately.  

 The parent/guardian/emergency contact or the staff member will be instructed that documentation of an evaluation by their healthcare provider is required.  NCS will adhere to the protocols to be shared from Essex County Public Health regarding the requirements needed for clearance to return to school.  

 In the event that a large-scale testing will need to be conducted at the school, the district administration will work with the following provider:

Essex County Public Health Department at 518-873-3515

Newcomb Central School will utilize the following resources including those in the link below, when referrals for COVID-19 testing are made:

Testing Site

Contact Information


Individual’s primary healthcare provider

Elizabethtown Hospital


No referral needed.  Patient to call after 10 am

Adirondack Medical Center at Saranac Lake


Referral needed. But patient to call for appt.


Newcomb Central School has consulted with local health departments regarding the requirements for determining when a student or staff member, who screened positive for COVID-19 symptoms, may return to the in-person learning environment at school, or to on-site  work, respectively.

At this point in time students and staff who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of whether the person is symptomatic or asymptomatic, may return to school or work (respectively) upon completing at least 10 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms or 10 days of isolation after the first positive test, if they remain asymptomatic.  The local health department will determine and release the person from isolation.

Furthermore, if an individual screens positive for COVID-19 symptoms while at school or via the digital app to be used daily by families/staff, the individual may return to in-person learning or work when:

1. Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation is submitted

2. Negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result AND

3. Symptom resolution

The district requires that individuals who were exposed to the COVID-19 virus complete quarantine and have not developed symptoms before returning to in-person learning. The discharge of an individual from quarantine and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.


In the event of an individual testing positive, Newcomb Central School’s physician assistant, or her designee, will support the local health department(s) in tracing all contacts of the individual who tested positive.  

The School’s physician assistant has completed the Johns Hopkins University Contact Tracing Training initiative which is recognized as being in accordance with the New York State Contact Tracing Program.  Confidentiality will be maintained as required by federal and state law and regulations.  Newcomb Central School will cooperate with all state and local health department contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine efforts.

Upon request, NCS will provide information to the state and/or local health department(s) inclusive of, but not limited to:

Room locations of the individual

Who was also in those rooms

Transportation information of the individual

Accurate attendance information, up to date student schedules, visitor logs that include time of arrival/departure and location(s) visited, transportation schedules, and substitute worker logs with dates/assignments will be maintained to assist with contact tracing efforts. 


The determination to close school will be made in collaboration with Essex County Public Health using data from the regional “control rooms”.  Ultimately the decision to close Newcomb Central School will be made by its Superintendent.

Should NCS experience any type of increase in absentee rates or individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, the school’s COVID-19 liaison, the school physician assistant, will contact the ECPH liaison to review the data.  Should it be warranted, the Essex County Public Health Director will be consulted, and the School Superintendent will ultimately decide if the school should be closed and for how long. Collaboration with ECPH will also occur if there are multiple cases discovered in just one area of the school. Shutting down this area for 24 hours if possible, for thorough cleaning, will be considered.


Determination of which type of learning model is appropriate at any given time during the school year will be dependent upon several factors, inclusive of but not limited to the following:

Local hospital capacity

Student and family needs and preferences

Space capabilities within facilities to allow for appropriate social distancing

Absentee rates of students/staff

Community/regional parameters and metrics maintained by the local health department 

The school’s COVID-19 liaison will notify the County’s COVID-19 liaison when/if there is increasing absenteeism and/or illness within the school community.  The County’s liaison will notify the school’s liaison when/if the local hospital capacity and/or the community/regional parameters reach thresholds of concern.  If warranted the County Health Director will contact the School’s Superintendent to collaborate in making a determination if the school district’s plan or status should be altered.  A change in learning format that may help mitigate the need for a full remote learning model will be considered.


Newcomb Central School’s medical director, or his designee, will notify the Essex County Public Health Department if aware of any disease reportable under public health law, inclusive of COVID-19.  If the individual resides in a county other than Essex, that local health department will be notified as well. 

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