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Last month New York State announced a Micro-Cluster Strategy which designates geographic areas as yellow, orange or red based on COVID metrics. These Micro-Cluster designations require COVID testing of staff and students in order for schools to remain open. In yellow zones, which designate that numbers are rising and indicate an increased state of caution, random testing is done for at least 20% of staff and students. Testing requirements increase in orange and red zones.
Presently there are no SWBOCES programs located in a designated zone. However, with rising numbers, we want to ensure we are ready to test if one of our programs falls in a designated zone over the next few months.
The testing is only required for staff and students who are on-site. Students enrolled in the fully remote option do not need to be tested. The test used will be the Binax Rapid Antigen test provided by the Department Of Health and will be administered by nurses who will be wearing gloves, face masks, face shields and protective clothing. All social distancing requirements will be followed.
In the event that a staff or student tests positive, an immediate contact will be made on the day of testing. Anyone who does not receive a direct contact can assume the test was negative. However, since the Rapid Antigen tests are not as reliable as other tests, any individual who later becomes symptomatic should seek the guidance of their medical professional and additional testing as recommended.
We are currently preparing for the potential testing requirement by distributing permission forms. Collection of these forms will assure we are ready to move forward should we find ourselves in a designated testing zone.
STAFF FORM - Please follow this link and complete the form.
STUDENT FORM - Please follow this link and complete the form.
Completion of the form signifies your permission to test and provides important information for the testing process.
If the location of your program is in a designated testing zone and you are in the group that will be tested, you will receive a communication from your principal regarding the testing schedule. Please reach out to your principal with any questions you may have.