QUICK LINKS
Option to Reduce Quarantine for K-12

Option to Reduce Quarantine for K12 Students Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing

Dear Families,

Given the burden that quarantine can have on K12 students and families, Saratoga County Public Health Services (SCPHS) has implemented an option to reduce the length of quarantine to 7 full days, using symptom monitoring and diagnostic testing.  Full details of their protocol can be found here.  We are writing to summarize this option. New York State Department of Health maintains a list of testing locations here

Early Release Criteria: Parents/guardians who wish to request reduced quarantine must submit three items to SCPHS: 

  • Proof of identity
  • An appropriately timed, negative viral test result that meets other requirements listed below
  • A completed, signed form attesting to lack of symptoms of COVID-19 in your child and willingness to maintain continued vigilance against COVID-19. 

Proof of identity:  If the individual for whom reduced quarantine is being requested is a minor, then the submission should include proof of the parent or guardian’s identity.  Acceptable proof of identification includes but is not limited to New York State Driver’s License or a valid passport.   

Appropriately Timed Negative Viral Test 

Quarantined students must have a negative COVID-19 viral test result from a diagnostic specimen.  Viral tests include antigen tests and PCR tests. Self-administered, at-home tests are not eligible for this protocol.  

  • The test must be performed by a laboratory permitted by the New York State Department of Health.
  • The specimen must be collected no sooner than Day 5 of quarantine and within 48 hours of the time of planned quarantine discontinuation.  Quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7.  
  • Day 5 of quarantine is defined as the fifth day after a student’s last documented close contact exposure to an individual infectious with COVID-19 (“last exposure”).   For example, if a student’s last exposure took place sometime on September 1, the fifth day of quarantine would be on September 6.  If a specimen collected on September 6 tested negative for COVID-19, the individual could potentially be released from quarantine after 11:59 PM on September 8.

 

  • The laboratory report must include the name of the laboratory, name of the student tested and their date of birth, the date the specimen was collected, and the result of the viral test.  

Students under quarantine who are found to have more than one close contact exposure to an individual infectious with COVID-19 may have their quarantine period reset, based upon the date of the last documented exposure. For example, if a case exposes a group of five, close contacts on September 1 and one of those five close contacts later develops symptoms on September 3, the remaining four close contacts would have their quarantine period extended by two days.   

Lack of COVID-19 Symptoms and Willingness to Maintain Vigilance Against the Virus

The student under quarantine must not have developed any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 since their last exposure, including the entirety of quarantine up to the time at which it is discontinued. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reportedranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. 

The student and parent/guardian must agree to maintain continued vigilance against COVID-19 by adhering to certain conditions such as masking, symptom monitoring, social distancing, personal hygiene, and environmental cleaning. 

The required attestation form, "Request for Reduced Quarantine Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing" is available here

 

Reduced Quarantine Request Submission

Parents/guardians should complete the “Request for Reduced Quarantine Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing” form and fax or email both pages of the form to 518-363-8988 or quarantinereleaserequest@saratogacountyny.gov.  

As noted above, the form must be accompanied by proof of identification (including but not limited to New York State Driver’s License or a valid passport) and a copy of the negative COVID-19 viral test that includes the name of the laboratory, name of the individual tested and their date of birth, the date the specimen was collected, and the result of the viral test.  Submission of the lab report is necessary because in many cases, the laboratory may not report the result to SCPHS or report it in a timely manner.

Requests can also be mailed to SCPHS at 6012 County Farm Road, Ballston Spa, NY 12020.

SCPHS retains the right to pause the early release option at any time, either individually or universally, and cannot guarantee the speed with which any request for early release is reviewed and processed. Factors affecting the early release option’s availability and response time include, but are not limited to, the following:  

  • First Come, First Served Basis: Requests for early release are accepted and reviewed on a first come, first served basis, meaning that SCPHS processes requests in order of their receipt. 
  • Availability of Diagnostic Testing Resources: Testing for the purpose of earlier discontinuation of quarantine will be considered only when it will have no impact on community diagnostic testing. Testing of persons seeking evaluation for infection will be prioritized.
  • Local Transmission Patterns: SCPHS may deny early release requests owing to local transmission patterns that, in its assessment, warrant a more cautious quarantine strategy.
  • Individual Risk Profile: SCPHS may deny early release requests based on an assessment of the individual’s unique transmission risk.  
  • Public Health Staffing and Resource Capacity: To protect the health and safety of county residents, SCPHS will continue to prioritize vaccination, case investigation, and related COVID-19 response activities.  

 

Testing Locations

Testing for COVID-19 is widely available throughout New York State.  New York State Department of Health maintains a list of testing locations here

At times when SCPHS is not holding COVID-19 vaccination clinics, they may offer testing clinics dedicated to K12 students.  Appointments are required and there is no out-of-pocket cost, regardless of health insurance status.  When SCPHS testing clinics are offered, parents can register for a date and time here.  Note that to attend SCPHS clinics, students must meet ALL the following criteria.  

  • Must be a K12 school student or staff member who resides in or attends school in Saratoga County. 
  • Must have received a quarantine order from Saratoga County Public Health Services and have completed at least 4 full days of quarantine (the date of the testing appointment must be quarantine day 5 or later).   
  • Must have not reported any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 while on quarantine.   
  • Must have emailed or faxed a completed "Request for Reduced Quarantine Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing" form to SCPHS at quarantinereleaserequest@saratogacountyny.gov or 518-363-8988.  
  • Must have successfully registered for an account on our laboratory partner (Quadrant Biosciences) web portal at https://app.clarifi-covid-19.com/.
    • When registering their child, parents/guardians should select Organization Type “K-12 School”, County “Saratoga” and search for the child’s school in the Organization drop-down menu.

 

  • Students being tested must NOT have eaten or drank anything other than water (including chewing gum, mints or lozenges, tobacco or smokeless tobacco products) within 30 minutes of their testing time. Mouthwash and toothpaste must NOT have been used within an hour.
  • For assistance with registering an account on the Quadrant Biosciences web portal, please email covid-support@quadrantbiosciences.com.  
Oct 21, 2021