Onondaga County brings Upstate’s saliva testing to staff at Jordan-Elbridge, then other districts

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JORDAN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Forty teachers and staff members at the Jordan-Elbridge School District volunteered their saliva to be tested for coronavirus.

They weren’t feeling sick but had coronavirus tests done proactively to make sure they aren’t carrying and spreading the virus unknowingly.

Onondaga County’s Office of Emergency Management, through a partnership with Upstate University Hospital, brought the saliva testing to the library of Jordan-Elbridge Middle School.

Each person puts their own swab in their mouth and seals the tube. The samples are then combined to be tested in a batch of 12.

The individual samples are preserved but only tested if the group test comes back with traces of positive. A negative pool sample means each of the 12 participants are negative.

Upstate Medical University’s saliva pool testing is being used to proactively test students and adults at Syracuse University and at SUNY schools across the state.

Thursday was the first day it was brought back to teachers, more than a month after Onondaga County gave teachers and some students the chance to get a classic test before going back to school.

Through creative scheduling and enough space, Jordan-Elbridge is one of the few school districts able to bring back every student who wanted to learn in-person. Not a single coronavirus case has been reported.

Onondaga County plans to rotate the testing at different school districts throughout the year, increasing the number of buildings as testing supplies become more available.


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