December 4, 2020
This letter is to provide results of this week’s Yellow Zone Micro-Cluster Testing and an update of how you will receive future information. We know that COVID-19 cases in our District and our region have recently increased and want to continue to keep you informed.
Per the letter of November 24, Governor Cuomo announced that our school buildings were in the precautionary or “Yellow Zone”. (For more information, please see Micro-Cluster Metrics.) This designation requires testing for a minimum of 20% of the students and staff in each building. The Onondaga County Health Department has been incredibly supportive of schools in our region. In the past two days, they have tested 1,032 people (24.8% of our schools’ students and staff) and in a very short period of time. There was one identified positive case – in other words 99.9% of the tests were negative. We are all aware that the numbers of COVID-19 cases and the resulting infection rate are rising across the region. Our testing results of almost a quarter of our students and staff suggest that efforts to minimize spread through mask wearing, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings is working in our schools.
When we have a positive case in our District, our team immediately starts to work with the Onondaga County Health Department to investigate and help with contact tracing. We provide data, such as attendance records, schedules, bus routes and more. The health department uses that information to determine quarantines. Since September, our principals and staff members have been notifying impacted families before the health department makes contact. This means you will hear from us directly if your family is impacted by a positive case of COVID-19 in our District.
The letters that we have sent to the entire District are distributed to you in an effort to keep the whole District informed. We strive to always be open and transparent, however individual messages may no longer be the best approach. Instead, we will post active cases to a chart on our District website. The chart will identify the date the positive case was confirmed and the impacted building or school. Once active, it will include cases since the most recent update of November 24. We expect this to be operational early next week and a reminder notice will be sent.
Please know, if your child is directly impacted and needs to quarantine, you will still hear from us. If a school building or multiple schools are closed to in-person instruction, you will be informed. All major announcements will be posted on our website, and sent out via School Messenger. We want to continue to keep you informed in the best way possible.
Thank you for all that you are doing! It continues to be important students are kept home with any symptoms and you remain in communication with our health offices when necessary. We must all stay diligent with health and safety and your efforts are appreciated. Every day there is evidence of West Genesee Stronger Together.
David C. Bills
Superintendent of Schools