Meet the nurses and families who participated in the last day of ‘Back To School’ coronavirus testing

Back to School

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Without the baseball season, NBT Bank Stadium may have its busiest days of the year Thursday and Friday as the location for Onondaga County’s ‘Back to School’ testing.

Thursday was open to teachers and staff members of the Syracuse City School District.

Friday was open to all teachers and school staff members who didn’t make it to their own district’s testing day. Friday’s testing was also open to students for the first time.

Among them was 11-year-old Isabel Strusinski, who’s mom brought her with her two brothers.

Strusinski starts sixth grade on her computer from home on Monday, but because she’ll be in class on Tuesdays and Fridays, her mom wanted her to be tested.

Tabitha Allen tells NewsChannel 9, “A friend of my father just passed away from COVID. It’s close to home. It’s nothing to mess with. It’s not fake. It’s scary to put your kids in that environment which is why I wanted them tested first.”

Strusinski had a brave face when nurses had to put a swab up her nose.

She says it felt: “Funny, like water was up my nose and I couldn’t get it out.”

The testing at NBT Bank Stadium was the 14th session held for teachers and school staff members I the last two weeks.

Onondaga County partnered with Nascentia Health, which coordinates volunteer nursing students to do the testing.

Taylor Bodine, a student at St. Joseph’s School of Nursing and LeMoyne College, says putting swabs up peoples’ noses is: “A little weird. I’m up in their face. They’re nervous and expecting the worst like I’m going to hit their brain.”

She committed to being a nurse years before the pandemic.

She says the pandemic hasn’t changed her choice of profession, adding: “It’s kind of reinforced it. It made me see a lot of people don’t recognize health care as they should. COVID helped with that.”

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