COVID-19 Pandemic

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness first identified in 2019. There are many coronaviruses, all of which typically cause respiratory disease in humans. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic due to the number of countries affected by its rapid spread.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms may include muscle aches/pains, fatigue, and decrease in appetite. According to CDC, headache, confusion, rhinorrhea, sore throat, hemoptysis, vomiting, and diarrhea have also been reported, but are less common. Preliminary information suggests older adults and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems are at higher risk.

This is a rapidly changing situation. Please visit the New York State Health Department Web site for updated information (click here).

Any student sent home ill from school will receive a Health Care Provide Clearance to Return to School Form. This form outlines the return to school protocol (based on the currentNew York State Health and Education Protocol) that must be followed before a student can return to the classroom.

Download the Health Care Provider Clearance to Return to School Form (updated September 30, 2020.)


There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this virus. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including 2019-nCoV:

  • Wear a mask when you cannot social distance (stay six feet apart).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

For questions please contact your local department of health or the NYS DOH Novel Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

Additional Resources

CDC’s dedicated 2019-nCoV Web site

NYSDOH’s dedicated 2019-nCoV Web site

NYSDOH directory of local health departments

New York State Center for School Health Web site