District monitoring COVID-19 at local, state and national levels

While the Utica Academy of Science does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in our schools, district officials are aware of concerns in the community about the spread of this relatively new virus.

The district is closely monitoring this situation and following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the Oneida County Department of Health and the New York State Education Department.

Based on recent reports, COVID-19 is not actively circulating in Oneida County at this time.

If the district becomes aware that an UAS student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, it will immediately notify staff and parents/guardians. If a student or staff member shows respiratory symptoms, the district will follow its current practices for handling respiratory illnesses, subject to any additional guidance forthcoming.

The district has infectious disease protocols in place and has been taking steps, such as cleaning and disinfecting throughout its schools, to minimize the spread of viruses and a variety of other illnesses.

There are a number of steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, according to the state Department of Health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Heavily soiled hands should be washed.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you or a family member begin showing symptoms of a respiratory disease and suspect it may be COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. Before going to your healthcare provider’s office, inform them that a case of COVID-19 is suspected, and follow their advice.

The district will continue to share information as it becomes available on the district website. Any time-sensitive, critical information will be shared via the district’s SchoolMessenger notification system, which sends email, text message and phone call notifications, depending upon how parents subscribed to the system.