Based on clarified guidance from the New York State Department of Health and conversations with the Herkimer County Public Health Department, Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES and its 10 component school districts will make the following three clarifications to their COVID-19 absence policies to take effect Monday, Oct. 26: 

  1. Individuals sent home with COVID-19 symptoms must be evaluated by a healthcare provider within 48 hours. Unless the individual is evaluated within 48 hours or is awaiting COVID-19 PCR test results, districts must notify the Herkimer County Public Health Department and the individual may not return to school. The Public Health Department will initiate contact tracing, make a determination about quarantine, and determine when the individual may return to school. 
  2. When a student or staff member is sent home because of COVID-19 symptoms, that individual's household members may remain in school as long as they are symptom-free or until the Public Health Department directs otherwise. 
  3. The quarantine/isolation period for the individual sent home will be 10 calendar days (instead of the current 14 days) from the onset of symptoms, with the final three days being symptom-free. The Public Health Department will determine the quarantine/isolation period for other individuals in the household if needed.