Updated: October 15, 2020 06:26 PM
Created: October 15, 2020 05:43 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — There has been an increase in the number of children with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County but the county’s top doctor says it is not because students are back in school.
Sharese is the mom of a middle-schooler in Greece. She had reservations about sending her daughter back for hybrid learning but says every concern she’s had so far, the district has addressed.
“They stagger the times to make it easier for us to pick them up, so they're not walking through the parking lot because pick-up had been chaotic so they sent an email and said they're changing it, they'll be security out in the parking lot to direct you on how you're picking up and dropping off and whatnot in the morning so there's been a lot of communication,” she told News10NBC.
Even mask-wearing isn’t nearly as troublesome for the kids as she thought it might be, “they have mask breaks built-in to the day where everybody is separated and you can do social distancing and you can take it off for a couple of minutes in your own space and she's like I don't even take mine off during that,” Sharese says.
Superintendents from across Monroe County say they too have been surprised at how smoothly things are going so far.
“I think if you asked us in July if we would still be open in the middle of October and having sports and some extra-curriculars and clubs in place I think many of us would've said there's no way that's gonna happen,” Pittsford Superintendent Mike Pero said.
There have been confirmed COVID cases in many districts. Just this week, Pittsford had its first but the Monroe County Health Commissioner told News10NBC that by-and-large, districts are following masking, barrier and social distancing requirements, so, once the infected student or teacher is isolated, classes have been able to continue.
So, why are we seeing an increase in the number of kids with confirmed cases? “These are individuals who are getting sent home with symptoms and they're getting tested and evaluated by their healthcare provider and we're finding out of these positives, none of them are seriously ill thankfully. I think what you're seeing is effectively the outcome of increased surveillance,” Dr. Mendoza said.
And with that increased surveillance comes contact tracing. Dr. Mendoza says there has only been one case so far, that may be linked to in-school transmission.
“All of the other children many of them were actually all virtual or entirely virtual students so they haven't been in their school proper and so the vast majority if not all of the cases in that demographic were acquired throughout of school person-to-person contact,” he said.
That’s why both Dr. Mendoza and local superintendents are urging parents to be cautious about out-of-school gatherings and make sure children are continuing to follow as many safety protocols as possible.
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