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COVID Policies & FAQ

This page houses all COVID related information in regards to Manhattan Country School. The FAQ below includes both guidelines that the MCS community already adheres to as well as some policy updates based on the recent release of New York City's updated guidelines for schools and businesses regarding COVID-19 this past week. We know that the ever-changing nature of the pandemic and subsequent policy adaptations can be a lot of information to digest and can get a bit confusing. In that regard, we hope this COVID FAQ will help guide you and your family as we move through COVID together. While we will notify you of any changes to our policies, we will update this page as well, so please continue to check this page

COVID-19 Health/Safety Policies

List of 17 frequently asked questions.

  • What are symptoms of COVID-19?

    Symptoms include but are not limited to diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, sore throat, fatigue, cough, muscle aches, congestion, and/or runny nose.
  • What do I do if my child develops symptoms of COVID-19 at school or at home?

    Please keep your child at home. The student must take two separate rapid antigen tests 24 hours apart. If both test results are negative and symptoms continue, they may return to school if:
    • They are free of fever for 24 hours without the use of medication.
    • Diarrhea and vomiting symptoms have resolved for 24 hours without the use of medication and your child can eat and drink.

    Students should wear a well-fitting mask until symptoms resolve.
    If symptoms begin at school, a parent/caregiver will be contacted and students will be sent home. Once at home, the student should immediately take a rapid test. They should wear a mask while they are symptomatic.
  • Where do I get rapid antigen tests?

    • Call 212-COVID19, and you will be directed to free rapid antigen distribution sites in your area.
    • Visit NYC COVID-19 testing resource page for free distribution sites in your area.
    • Contact your insurance company and request rapid antigen tests. Some companies send tests or reimburse clients for the purchase of tests.
    We want to make sure all families have access to tests; if you are unable to access tests, please reach out to Nurse Stephanie.
  • Do I need to send my COVID-19 test results to MCS?

    If any COVID-19 test result is positive, you must stay home and email Nurse Stephanie. Negative test results are not reported to MCS.
  • What do I do if my child tests positive for COVID-19?

    Students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home for five full days. They can return to school on day 6 if they are no longer experiencing symptoms or if their symptoms have improved. Further testing at this time is not recommended or required. They must also wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days—counting from the day after their symptoms began or their positive test date, whichever is earlier. 
    Even if symptoms are improving, students must be free of fever for 24 hours without the use of medication. Any diarrhea and vomiting must also be resolved for 24 hours without the use of medication and the student should be able to eat and drink without the return of symptoms.
    Note: After the isolation has ended, if COVID-19 symptoms recur or worsen, isolation must restart at day 0. Day 0 of isolation is the day when symptoms start. You should speak to your child’s pediatrician about their symptoms and consult on when to end isolation. This information must be communicated to Nurse Stephanie.
  • What do I do if someone in my child’s home has COVID-19?

    If the student can separate fully from the person who tested positive, the student may continue to come to school. You should monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and keep your child at home if any symptoms develop. Regardless of symptoms, your child should take a rapid antigen test the day the person in the home tested positive, and then on days 3, 5, 7, and 9 after the last contact with the person who tested positive.
    If the student is unable to be isolated from the person who tested positive, please note that per the Center for Disease Control (CDC), your child should continue to stay home and quarantine. They can leave their home five days after their last close contact with the person who is sick (based on the time it takes to develop illness) or five days after the person who is sick meets the criteria to end home isolation. Please note that after ending quarantine, your child must take a rapid test the night before they return to school and the morning of.
  • Will families be notified if there is a positive COVID-19 case in the class?

    MCS will log all COVID-19 cases by class and date on the MyMCS “ Health” page. We ask that families follow the dashboard to be alerted of when an exposure has occurred.
  • Do students have to quarantine following exposure to someone that tested positive for COVID-19?

    No. Instead, members of our community who were exposed to COVID-19 are strongly recommended to wear a well-fitting mask indoors for 10 full days from the day of exposure and take two separate rapid antigen tests on days 4 and 5 after the exposure; it is important that these two tests be done 24 hours apart. If symptoms begin prior to days 4 and 5, the student should isolate at home and get tested for COVID-19 immediately.
  • Regardless of vaccination status, students must wear a well-fitting mask when:

    1. Returning to school after testing positive for COVID-19 through day 10 after their symptoms began or their positive test date, whichever is earlier. This protocol for masking includes when traveling on a school bus. 
    2. Entering the nurse’s office.
    3. Exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Is masking required at MCS?

    Mask-wearing is optional at MCS for students and staff, except for the circumstances outlined above. All visitors (including caregivers) must wear a mask.
  • What is MCS’s vaccination and booster policy?

    Vaccination is the best way to prevent COVID-19. Eligible students are strongly encouraged to stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. Please visit this CDC at-a-glance vaccine schedule.
    Please note that in order to play in competitive sports at MCS, the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine is required and the COVID-19 vaccination card must be uploaded in Magnus.
  • Will COVID-19 testing be required before farm trips?

    Yes. We ask everyone attending farm trips to take two separate rapid antigen tests 24 hours apart at home the day before a farm trip and the morning of the trip. Positive test results must be reported to Nurse Stephanie.
  • What if my child already had COVID-19 in the last 90 days?

    It is possible to contract COVID-19 more than once. As a result, your child will be required to follow the isolation, testing, and return-to-school procedures outlined above.
  • What if my child has seasonal allergies and they are coughing and congested?

    Cough and congestion are both symptoms on the list of COVID-19 symptoms. For any onset symptoms or worsening of symptoms, MCS is required by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to ask students to isolate and refer them for COVID-19 testing. 

    To avoid this situation, we strongly recommend consulting with your child’s pediatrician about starting daily allergy medications to prevent symptoms from occurring. For ongoing seasonal allergies that are documented by a doctor, MCS will require that students take rapid antigen tests twice a week at home.
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