School officials share more information on Yellow Zone COVID-19 testing requirements | WHEC.com

School officials share more information on Yellow Zone COVID-19 testing requirements

WHECTV
Updated: November 10, 2020 02:47 PM
Created: November 10, 2020 01:31 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Kathleen Graupman, president of the Monroe County Association of Superintendents will share more information about how tests will be provided and administrated in schools in the Yellow Zone. 

Under Yellow Zone restrictions, schools need to test 20% of students and staff each week for COVID-19.

The following municipal areas are included in the Yellow Zone:

  • City of Rochester
  • Greece
  • Irondequoit
  • Webster
  • Penfield
  • Perinton
  • East Rochester
  • Pittsford
  • Brighton
  • Henrietta
  • Chili
  • Gates

At a press conference Monday, Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Micheal Mendoza said about 15,000 COVID-19 tests per week will be required to test that many teachers and students.

The State of New York will provide and pay for rapid testing kits to Monroe County who will then provide the kits to school districts in the Yellow Zone. Schools will also accept results from private doctors that are sent in and are working to make it possible for parents to be with their kid when they're tested if they want.

Those school districts must then come up with a plan to test 20% of staff and students every week if they want to continue in-person learning while still in the Yellow Zone. Mendoza said Monday the kits are less invasive than normal COVID-19 tests and can be administered by any school employee.

Graupman says tests will not be administered without parents' consent, and parents who don't consent to testing can still send their children to school in person. However, she cautioned that schools do need to test a different 20% of students each week, so if not enough parents consent to testing, the school may need to go all-remote.

Families in school districts that are in the Yellow Zone will receive a communication where they can consent to testing or not, and ask more questions. Some districts, including Greece, will allow families to switch the fully-remote learning for the rest of the school year.

She said testing those students and getting negative results will help lower the area's positivity rate and help those areas of Monroe County that are in a Yellow Zone get out of it.

Graupman said contact tracing has shown that coronavirus is not spreading in schools.

Watch the video in the player above for the full question and answer session.


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