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COVID Yellow Zone Designation, Nov. 23

November 23, 2020

Dear GNPS Community,

Earlier today, Governor Cuomo announced that Great Neck has been designated as a “Yellow Zone” as part of the New York State Micro-Cluster Strategy. The NYS Department of Health identifies micro-cluster zones based on COVID positivity rates within a geographic area. As announced today by the Governor, the seven-day positivity rate for Great Neck is currently 4.77%.  

This yellow zone designation carries specific requirements and challenges for us as a school district. In order for our schools to remain open for in-person instruction under the yellow zone designation, the District must implement a random testing of 20% of our combined in-person staff and student population over a two-week period. If the test results are lower than the current seven-day positivity rate, testing at the school will no longer be required. 
 
We are working with the Nassau County Department of Health and Nassau BOCES to develop a plan to fulfill NYS requirements while meeting the best interests of our school community. Details of our plan will be forthcoming.
 
All of our schools will continue to operate as planned for tomorrow, November 24: 

John F. Kennedy, Saddle Rock, North Middle and North High will continue remote-only instruction (as announced on Saturday); 

E.M. Baker, Lakeville, Parkville will remain open for in-person instruction; and South Middle, South High, and Village will continue their normal hybrid schedule. 

The entire District will be closed Wednesday, November 25 through Friday, November 27 for the Thanksgiving Recess. All schools will resume in-person instruction on Monday, November 30. 

The State’s Cluster Action Initiative uses data and metrics to identify geographic areas as red, orange and yellow zones, with yellow being a “precautionary” zone. Each zone has a set of restrictions to combat the spread of COVID within the cluster area:

YELLOW ZONE: 

  • Schools can remain open with 20% testing of in-person students and staff within two weeks of the designation.
  • Testing will no longer be required if test results are lower than the current seven-day positivity rate.

ORANGE ZONE: 

  • School buildings must close for at least four days.
  • In order to reopen, ALL students, faculty, and staff must test and only those who are negative will be allowed to return to campus.
  • Following reopening, schools will be required to provide weekly testing results of 25% of the combined student, faculty, and staff population.

RED ZONE: 

  • School buildings must close for at least four days.
  • In order to reopen, ALL students, faculty, and staff must test and only those who are negative will be allowed to return to campus.
  • Following reopening, schools will be required to provide weekly testing results of 25% of the combined student, faculty, and staff population.

This situation remains fluid, and I appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation as we work with our health and education partners to develop a plan to meet State requirements. I will share an update when more information is available. 

Sincerely,
Dr. Teresa Prendergast
Superintendent of Schools