Schools prepare to operate under Yellow Zone restrictions

Created: November 10, 2020 06:22 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Parts of Monroe County are now part of a Yellow Zone micro-cluster, which places new temporary restrictions on businesses and social activities due to a spike of COVID-19 cases.

School districts in the Yellow Zone will have to begin testing students and staff if they want to continue in-person instruction. 

New York state will provide rapid testing kits to Monroe County who will then provide the kits to school districts in the Yellow Zone. Those school districts must then come up with a plan to test 20% of staff and students every week.

News10NBC reached out to several districts to find out how they plan to do that.

The East Irondequoit and Greece school districts say they are still gathering information related to the specifics and will provide more details Tuesday.

The Penfield Central School District says they are waiting for official guidance, but they also say that parents will need to give consent before COVID-19 tests are administered.

Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza says the kits are less invasive than normal COVID-19 tests and can be administered by any school employee.    

"This test is much less invasive," Mendoza said. "It does not go all the way to the back of your throat. That being said, I respect that if parents have concerns that we want to address their concerns. We want them to ask their questions and if ultimately they absolutely refuse, we will have to figure that out on a case by case basis."

Mendoza says how students and staff will be selected is still being worked out, but it should be a different set of people every week. 

The following municipal areas in Monroe County are included in the Yellow Zone:

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

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