Coronavirus Resources

April 2021 COVID-19 Update

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recently updated its Interim Guidance for in-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. (Click here to access this document) This guidance for schools aligns with the most recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to prioritize safe in-person learning in schools while adhering to layered mitigation strategies.

While most of the new guidance pertains to conditions in which school districts can return more students to in-person learning, that does not directly pertain to BOCES since all of our programs have had in-person learning 4-5 days per week. However, we took the opportunity to carefully compare the updated guidance to our existing 2020-2021 Reopening Plan Health and Safety section to ensure we are still adhering to the most up-to-date health and safety protocols including cleaning and disinfection practices as well as ventilation system maintenance.  

All of our protocols and practices are aligned to the new DOH guidance with one exception; the new guidance requires all students, staff, and visitors without mask exemptions to wear masks at all times while in a school building or on school grounds except while eating. This eliminates the option of giving students mask breaks. This change in practice is effective immediately. This important change is reflected in the updated Health and Safety section of our 2020-21 Reopening Plan at

January 2021: Vaccination Update

We continue to monitor rapidly developing information about COVID-19 vaccination opportunities in our region. Below are two new clinic options for populations eligible for vaccine. Please note that appointments are required – there are NO walk-in vaccinations without appointment.
A state-run vaccine clinic at the Dome Arena in Henrietta will open on January 20. Appointments are available online through the Am I Eligible? website or at the NYS hotline: 1-833-697-4829.
The Finger Lakes COVID 19 Vaccine Hub has info and links to local locations with available vaccine appointments. 

News on Monroe County's vaccination plan is being updated frequently. The latest local information can always be found at the Monroe County COVID-19 website: You will also find the most current New York State information on coronavirus vaccine on the NYS COVID-19 vaccine website:

Here are links to information on the two currently-approved vaccines: 
  1. Fact sheet for Moderna EUA COVID-19 vaccine
  2.  Fact sheet for Pfizer-BioNTech EUA COVID-19 vaccine

There is also a need in the community for volunteers to help with vaccine distribution. You do not need to have medical expertise to assist as a volunteer, many different assignments are available. You can find out more information about volunteering at the link below:

Nov. 13 COVID-19 Update

Since the Governor issued Executive Order 202.68 designating parts of Monroe County as a Yellow Zone, we have been working with the Monroe County Department of Public Health and area school superintendents to operationalize the requirement that 20% of students and staff in school districts be tested each week until the yellow zone designation is lifted.  Because yellow zones are determined by town, not all of our students and staff will need to participate in the testing program. 
  • The towns of Clarkson, Ogden, Parma, Hamlin, Riga, Rush, Sweden, Mendon and Wheatland are not in a yellow zone. Therefore, any BOCES classroom located in those towns will not participate
  • Any district-based classroom in a school building in the towns of Chili, City of Rochester, Gates, or Greece will participate as part of that school district’s process. This includes Northwood Elementary located in Greece but part of the Hilton CSD and Chestnut Elementary, located in Chili but part of the Churchville-Chili CSD. Your supervisor will confirm with you today if your classroom is in a yellow zone or not. 
  • The following BOCES sites will participate based on their location in a yellow zone: Paul Road Transition, Ridgecrest Academy, Rochester Tech Park including staff who work at RTP, Roberts Wesleyan College, Project SEARCH at UR, Westside Academy and Westview.
  • All students and staff are still required to complete the Daily Health Screening Attestation.
Testing Process for BOCES Sites not Housed in District-based Buildings
Each week, 20% of students and staff will be selected at random to be tested. We are still working out how the notification process will work. Students and staff located in a district-based building will be selected and tested by that school district.  Staff are required to participate, including itinerant staff, who work with classrooms in that building. If a school district has a different selection and testing process, staff should follow their process. Students will participate only if their parents grant consent. Consent forms will be sent by email to parents/guardians by the end of the day. The consent can be completed online or by paper. Parents will be given the option of taking their students to their physician or local pharmacy to be tested. Students who do not consent will remain coming to in-person instruction. If the testing program lasts five weeks, the state would ideally like everyone to participate once. However, the requirement is 20% of the total number of staff and students attending in-person classes each week. The hope is that within a couple weeks, the yellow zone designation will be lifted and we will no longer have to test.

The Abbott BinaxNOW rapid test produces results within 15 minutes. The test consists of swabbing the inside of the front of the nose.  It is not the same test that goes all the way to the top of the nasal cavity! Testing will begin on Tuesday, 11/17. A two-person testing team that has been trained by MCDPH will come to each site to conduct the rapid test. Logistical arrangements will be worked out with program supervisors as to where the testing will be conducted at each program.   Students or staff that have a positive test will follow the established protocols for leaving school and contacting their health care provider.  Information on each person tested will be collected and must be shared with the MCDPH and NYSDOH to meet the testing requirements. All information will be transmitted via a confidential portal.
BOCES 2 is committed to providing our students and families with the best educational and related service experiences possible. We believe that having students in school is the best place to do this. Participating in the yellow zone testing program will help to drive the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the county down, thus ensuring in-person instruction can continue. Thank you for your continued commitment to those we serve in such challenging times.

Nov. 10 COVID-19 Update

Governor Andrew Cuomo has designated most towns in Monroe County as a Yellow Zone as part of New York State’s Micro-Cluster Strategy. This designation is due to a positive COVID-19 test rate over a 7-day rolling average above 3% for the past 10 days.
For schools, a Yellow Zone designation requires that 20% of students and staff be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis in order to continue in-person instruction. Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES and local districts are doing everything possible to keep schools open for in-person learning.
The NYS Department of Health is deploying rapid-testing kits to the county. BOCES 2 is working with the Monroe County Department of Public Health and local school superintendents to determine how the testing requirement will be implemented and how it will affect BOCES classrooms located in the school districts within the Yellow Zone.
We understand that this announcement has increased people’s anxiety and worry and generated a multitude of questions. We will communicate details of the plan as soon as possible.
Health officials say schools continue to do an excellent job of controlling the spread because of our adherence to health and safety protocols. The recent rise in positivity rates is the result of social gatherings outside of schools where masks and social distancing protocols were not observed.
It is more important than ever to continue to follow the health and safety protocols we have in place including wearing masks, proper hand hygiene and social distancing. Stay safe.

Nov. 6 COVID-19 Update

On November 3, 2020, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo released updated travel restrictions for travelers arriving in New York State following out of state travel.  A summary of these restrictions is as follows:
All travelers, including New York State residents, who enter New York from a noncontiguous state, or from a CDC Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice country, must quarantine for 14 days unless:
            1. Travelers who traveled outside of New York for more than 24 hours must obtain COVID 19 diagnostic testing within 72 hours prior to arrival in New York AND
            2. Such travelers must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for a minimum of 3 days, measured from time of arrival, and on day 4 may seek a COVID 19 diagnostic test to exit quarantine. Upon receipt of the second negative test result, the traveler may exit quarantine. 
Contiguous states are Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. Travelers to these states are not subject to the quarantine requirements above. 
Travelers who travel outside of New York for less than 24 hours do not need to take a COVID test prior to their departure from the other state but must still quarantine for 3 days upon return to New York and test on the fourth day to exit quarantine. 

Oct. 20 COVID-19 Update

The New York State Department of Health recently released a Pre-K to Grade 12 COVID-19 Toolkit. Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES staff and families should carefully review the toolkit, which includes flowcharts detailing when students and staff are able to return to school/work after having experienced COVID symptoms.

Sept. 28 COVID-19 Update

The Monroe County Department of Health recently updated their guidance about when school staff may return to work after having COVID-19 symptoms. It is imperative that you read this updated guidance. 

According to the updated guidance, any employee having a temperature greater than 100 degrees or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms that are new or unusual must remain home and cannot return to work until they have a doctor’s evaluative note AND 1) a negative COVID test or 2) 10 days have passed since the onset of the new and unusual symptoms. 
Staff who answer yes on the daily health assessment to having symptoms will receive a phone call from Human Resources reminding them of the above protocol.  In no instance can staff report back to work until they have provided Human Resources with the required documentation AND also received a confirming email from Human Resources acknowledging receipt of the documentation and allowing them to return.  

Aug. 24 COVID-19 Update

Monroe County is continuing to release guidance in relation to COVID-19. This week they have released a number of information tools to help educational facilities navigate these challenging times.

Click here to read Monroe County's COVID-19 Schools FAQ.
Click here to view Monroe County's "Student Screens Positive" Flowchart.
Click here to view Monroe County's "Students Placed In Medical Quarantine" Flowchart.
Click here to view the Health Department's Guidance to Reopening Schools 8/17 Update.

Aug. 19 COVID-19 Update

The New York State Education Department (NYSED), Office of Special Education is sharing the following resource provided by the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, a national technical assistance center funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. The CEEDAR Center is designed to help state educational agencies, institutes of higher education and local educational agencies create aligned professional learning systems that provide teachers and leaders effective opportunities to learn how to improve core and specialized instruction in inclusive settings that enable students with disabilities to achieve college and career ready standards. This resource is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute NYSED endorsement. Please be aware that websites listed may change. The information provided is true and complete to the best of our knowledge. 
The Family Guide to At-Home Learning has practical strategies that work for helping children of all ages who may be struggling with an at-home learning task. Families may find these strategies useful when helping their children complete various reading, math, and/or behavioral tasks at home.

July 31 COVID-19 Update

In response to increased rates of COVID-19 transmission in certain states within the United States, and to protect New York’s successful containment of COVID-19, the State has joined with New Jersey and Connecticut in jointly issuing a travel advisory for anyone returning from travel to states that have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19.
Look under "Coronavirus Resource Links" in the right-hand sidebar, or click here to see the NYS Travel Advisory information.

May 15 COVID-19 Update

Due to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Orders regarding school closing and remote learning, adjustments to the academic calendar have been necessary. Because the governor’s orders include a requirement for instruction and remote learning to continue through any previously scheduled school vacations, Friday, May 22 must now be a day of instruction. Memorial Day, Monday, May 25 is a federal holiday, and therefore remains a day off for all students and employees.

As the end of the academic year approaches, administration is reviewing the calendar to determine the final day of instruction. We will communicate that to staff, students and families once that decision has been made.

We also continue to monitor the phased reopening of the Finger Lakes region as per the governor’s orders. We are in contact with the Monroe County Health Department, County Executive Adam Bello and the Finger Lakes Regional Development Council as our region enters Phase One of reopening today.

May 1 COVID-19 Update

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that he is extending the closing of schools in New York State through the end of the academic year. Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES and all schools will continue to provide remote learning and support services to our students and families for the duration of the closure.

April 16 COVID-19 Update

Today Governor Andrew Cuomo extended the "New York State on PAUSE" restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. At this point, Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES and all public schools remain closed to students until May 15, 2020.

BOCES 2 Connections Highlighted
The BOCES 2 Board and administration appreciate the efforts staff members are making to support students, families and our community during this challenging time. With so many heartwarming examples of positive and innovative BOCES 2 connections, a page on our website has been dedicated to sharing some of these stories. You can see this page at and check back frequently for more updates over the coming weeks.

Among the items on that page is a video titled “BOCES 2 Together in Spirit” created to salute the connections between students and staff.

April 6 COVID-19 Update

Today Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered an extension of the school closings in New York State. Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES and all public schools remain closed to students through April 29, 2020.

April 2 COVID-19 Update

As per Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order #202.11 all districts are expected to provide continuity of learning (i.e., continued instruction), distribution of meals and childcare each day of the closure through April 14, 2020.

In reference to that order, Governor Cuomo’s Deputy Secretary for Education Dan Fuller has advised that school districts are expected to provide continuity of learning (i.e., continued instruction), distribution of meals and childcare each day of the closure including during what was previously calendared as Spring Break.

Teachers will continue to provide learning activities and resources and communicate with students during this time. However, Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES understands that families may be overwhelmed and doing the best they can to balance many responsibilities, including how to move forward with learning during the week of April 6.  

In an effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19, we have complied an extensive list of resources on this page to assist you. We hope that all families stay healthy, stay home and continue to practice social distancing as we work together to get through this unprecedented situation.

March 27 COVID-19 Update

Today Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered an extension of the school closings in New York State. Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES and all public schools remain closed to students through April 14, 2020.

March 26 COVID-19 Update

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello has announced a job portal that will connect essential businesses who are looking to expand their workforce during the COVID-19 crisis and individuals across the community who are healthy and looking for work. 
While the local economic impact of COVID-19 is already visible, Bello announced a concerted effort to direct both employers looking to hire workers and residents seeking work to a single platform. Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use the RochesterWorks system, which may be accessed at This effort is being done with the cooperation of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Greater Rochester Enterprise, both of whom have indicated they have member businesses looking to hire. Residents with limited internet access are encouraged to call RochesterWorks at (585) 258-3500.

March 23 Update: More Family Resources

These are paid resources used by students, teachers and parents within the Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES community. We have identified resources most of our schools and BOCES programs have access to, and provided the direct links to each one.   

March 16 COVID-19 Update

As communicated via automated phone calls and on our website, BOCES 2 and all local schools are closed to students until further notice. We will continue to keep you informed as this situation progresses. All school-related activities and events are being assessed on a daily basis. Determinations on specific school closings beyond this week will be made in collaboration and coordination with the State and local health officials. Student and staff health and safety are our first priorities. 

March 14, 2020 COVID-19 Update - BOCES 2 closed to students until further notice

BOCES 2 employees should monitor their email and the BOCES 2 website for further information tomorrow.

March 13, 2020 COVID-19 Update from the District Superintendent

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff,   

The Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES and the regional public schools continue to monitor the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have been working together on a daily basis to discuss strategies on how to best keep our students and families healthy during this emerging public health situation. We are in consultation with the Monroe County Health Department, New York State Health Department, State Education Department, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In most cases, BOCES and districts have decided to postpone or cancel overnight travel outside of the Greater Rochester area through April 12, 2020, due to concerns about potential out-of-town risk and/or quarantine possibilities. Many factors are considered when canceling or postponing travel or events based on specific circumstances within the BOCES and/or districts.

We know this is a difficult time for our students, staff, and families. The Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES will continue to problem solve and make the best decisions possible for our programs and services with student and staff health and safety being our first priority.

We will continue to keep you informed as this situation progresses. All school-related activities and events are being assessed on a daily basis. Determinations on specific school closing decisions will be made in collaboration and coordination with the State and local health officials. We are sending a letter home with students today explaining to parents that they need to begin preparing for child care in case closures become a reality.

The image below (also provided as a downloadable PDF by clicking here) provides critical information and resources as it pertains to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). 
Thank you for your cooperation, patience, and continued support as we work through this challenge.

Respectfully Submitted,

JoAnne L. Antonacci
District Superintendent
Image of March 13 Update Document 

March 6, 2020 COVID-19 Update

Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES is aware of concerns in the community about the spread of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus. We are closely monitoring this fluid situation and following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the Monroe County Department of Health and the New York State Education Department.
Because this situation is constantly changing, BOCES 2 has created an online webpage which will contain the most current information at:
BOCES 2 has infectious disease protocols in place and has been taking steps, such as cleaning and disinfecting throughout classrooms, offices and common areas, to minimize the spread of viruses and a variety of other illnesses.
If a student or staff member shows respiratory symptoms listed below, we will follow the NYS Department of Health guidelines in managing the illness:
These symptoms include:
  • Mild to severe respiratory illness
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
If you or a family member begin showing any of these symptoms 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.

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, with at least 60% alcohol. 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.
BOCES 2 will work with the local health department to take appropriate steps as advised.

For more information:
Please know that, as always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority.


Contact the BOCES 2 COVID Coordinator
[email protected]

Free Testing in Monroe County

Dec. 2020: Monroe County is providing free, rapid COVID tests for residents who are asymptomatic. Click here to find a location and register. Anyone experiencing symptoms should still contact their healthcare provider or call the Monroe County COVID Hotline at (585) 753-5555. 

Resources for Teachers and Families

Be part of the solution - help the contact tracers stop the spread. Contact Tracing - PDF
Waiting for test results? Learn more about next steps: symptoms, quarantine and what to do. COVID-19 Testing Next Steps - PDF

Public Service Announcement: Stop Living Room Spread video. Over 70% of cases can be traced to households and small gatherings. Do your part and stay apart.

Poster for families in both English and Spanish. Disease Prevention Coronavirus Awareness Poster - PDF 

Need a job or looking for new employees? Visit the Monroe County Job Portal for essential businesses and job seekers or call RochesterWorks! at 258-3500.
Need health insurance? New Yorkers who are without health insurance should Apply now through NY State of Health. If you lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of a loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus, or subsidized Qualified Health Plan coverage. Read more details here.

What to do if you feel sick

If you are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider. Do not visit your doctor’s office or an emergency room without calling first so staff members can take appropriate precautions. If you do not have a health care provider, contact the Monroe County Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline or email:
PHONE: (585) 753-5555
EMAIL: [email protected] 
Perhaps most important, please do your part to avoid contracting or spreading illness. Please practice social distancing at work and in the community.

Information for BOCES 2 employees: 
The Monroe County Department of Health released guidelines regarding return to work for employees who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. Please review these guidelines carefully:
Note that these guidelines differ from the previously released guidelines regarding students.  
According to these guidelines, if an employee is experiencing symptoms, they are to call their health care provider. If the health care provider does not suspect COVID-19 and instead makes an alternative diagnosis, the employee may return to work with a doctor’s note indicating such. The decision to test for COVID-19 is solely determined by the employee’s health care provider.

Coronavirus Resources for Educators: Documents

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
March 2020: From NYS Dept. of Ed. This Questions and Answers document outlines states’ responsibilities to infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities and their families, and to the staff serving these children.
March 21 Fact Sheet from the US DEd Supplemental Fact Sheet Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities.
March 20 Letter to District Superintendents, Superintendents of Schools, Principals of Public, Religious, and Independent Schools, Leaders of Charter Schools. The purpose of this memorandum is to inform you that NYSED is suspending all NYS Elementary- and Intermediate-Level State Assessments for the remainder of the school year in response to the statewide closures of schools and districts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
March 13 Letter to School District Superintendents, School Principals, BOCES District Superintendents, School District Business Officers, Special, Education Directors, Charter School Leaders. Preliminary Guidance on the Preparation for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak in NYS.
March 9 Letter to District Superintendents of Schools, Superintendents of Public and Nonpublic Schools, Administrators of Charter Schools, School Principals, Directors of School Based Health Clinics, Local Health Department Officials. NYSDOH and NYSED are providing this guidance to update schools on next steps needed to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak as well as recommend non-pharmaceutical interventions and community containment measures that reduce disease transmission in the community, including schools.