2021-2022 Contact Tracing, Quarantine and Testing Protocols

  • Patchogue-Medford School District will continue to work in partnership with the Suffolk County Department of Health (SCDOH) to report positive cases as well as those students and staff members who are identified as close contacts. 

    Any student or staff member exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, should refrain from entering the building and follow-up with their health care provider. NYSDOH continues to require testing for any student of or staff member that is symptomatic. Students and staff absences related to COVID-19 should be reported using the Student and Staff COVID-19 Absence Reporting Form, which is located on our District website at pmschools.org.


    On March 1, 2022, the New York State Department of Health Services (NYSDHS) released the most updated guidance in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The guidance is effective immediately and applies to all individuals (students and staff). Please note the updates that are outlined below: 


    • Vaccination status (regardless of the number of shots and booster) is no longer a factor in the isolation period if you test positive.
    • Individuals testing positive for COVID-19 must isolate for (5) days regardless of vaccination status.
    • Day 0 is the day of symptom onset, or if asymptomatic, the date the test was taken.


    • Students/staff may return from isolation after five (5) days as long as symptoms are improving and they are fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.
    • Students/staff who return from being positive after five days, must wear a mask for days 6-10.
    • Students/staff who are moderately-severely immunocompromised should discuss their return with their medical provider.


    Exposure is defined as those who meet the definition of a “close contact” to an individual with COVID-19. A close contact is a person, regardless of vaccination status, who was less than 6 feet away (unmasked) from an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes).

    A simpler operational definition of exposure for unmasked individuals is to consider the entire classroom in which the infected individual was present to be exposed or potentially exposed. This group definition considers all individuals in the classroom as exposed or potentially exposed. All should mask and test.

    Exposure is not a reason to remove from the classroom setting or school.

    If exposed to COVID-19, individuals should follow the precautions below. 

    • Regardless of vaccination status, individuals who are designated as close contacts (within 6 feet if not wearing a mask, 3 feet if wearing a mask for more than 15 minutes cumulative over 24 hours) should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure.
    • If symptoms appear, quarantine for 5 days and consider testing.


    Same guidance as above applies to extracurricular, after school activities, childcare as well as transportation on the bus.

    Additional information can be found from the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) below:

    COVID-19 Vaccines

    Individuals seeking information regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine should contact their medical provider or visit the NYS website at https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/