New York: Schools can cease 20% COVID testing if rates prove low after two weeks

Raven Brown
Updated: November 16, 2020 06:50 AM
Created: November 15, 2020 03:26 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York State has adjusted its COVID testing protocols for schools in a designated coronavirus Yellow Zone.

Sunday, the state announced schools can cease testing if, after two weeks, its numbers are lower than a Yellow Zone's percentage as a whole. 


Initially, a school within a Yellow Zone was required to test at least 20% of its students once a week while it remained in the zone,  the 20% statute still stands, but now, testing may only have to occur in the first two weeks after being designated.

The state's Department of Health says if a positivity rate at a school is lower than the zone's seven-day positivity rate, it's a "sufficient demonstration" in-person instruction is not driving local spread.

The sentiment was echoed by Governor Cuomo on Friday.

Right now, the Finger Lakes Region remains within the Yellow Zone, and as we previously reported, parental consent is still required for a district to test a child.

The DOH cautions if results of testing over the first two weeks reveal a higher rate, the school will be required to continue testing on a bi-weekly basis.

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