2020-2021 Testing and Contact Tracing Protocols
Prior to the Opening of School
To mitigate the risk of infection and ensure that schools reopen safely, schools will offer voluntary testing opportunities in partnership with Onondaga County. This proactive testing will be available for all school staff at mobile testing sites throughout the county including a location for West Genesee. These sites will be appointment-based. In addition to staff, high school students will also be given the opportunity to be tested. Information will be provided prior to the start of the school year; September 2 (staff) and September 10 (students).
- Once schools are open, there will be a specific protocol in place for instances in which positive cases have been identified. Each school will have a portal on their website that will allow for 24-hour testing for those who have been in school while symptomatic.
- When a positive case has been identified, those who should be tested will be identified by the contact tracers of the Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) and will be directed to schedule a test through the school’s website portal.
- To further promote safety and prevent COVID-19 spread, the Onondaga County Health Department will work with West Genesee to perform random saliva-based surveillance testing during the school year. This method of surveillance testing is approved by the New York State Department of Health.
- Pools of approximately 12 staff and students will be tested using the saliva protocol. Should the pool reveal the presence of COVID-19, everyone in the pool will need to have a diagnostic test performed.
School Reopening COVID-19 Contact Testing Protocol
(As of August 10, 2020)
Once a lab-confirmed case has been reported to the Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD)
- A staff person (case investigator) from OCHD will contact the person who has a confirmed case and, in the case of a student, their parent/guardian.
- The OCHD will interview the person with the confirmed case and identify contacts.
- School personnel will assist the health department in identifying any specifics pertaining to the exposure.
- The person with the confirmed case will be put in isolation for 10 days. Release from isolation can only be granted by the OCHD.
A contact tracer will interview all contacts
- All contacts of a person with a confirmed case will be interviewed to determine exposure risk.
- A 14-day quarantine will be issued by contact tracer for all close contacts of the person with the confirmed case.
- Those directed to quarantine will be monitored by contact tracers for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
- Contacts who develop symptoms will become a Person Under Investigation (PUI) and are referred for testing and further investigation.
- Positive tests for PUI are reported to the OCHD, and the process begins again.
- Release from quarantine can only be granted by the OCHD.
Guidance from the OCHD on a school closure related to a positive case
- School closure depends on the rate of infection in the community.
- Closure will occur with the consultation and guidance of the OCHD and can vary depending on the situation:
- One such example is if there are two separate, and seemingly unrelated, cases in two different classrooms of the same building.
COVID-19 Student Contact Monitoring Process
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