Some students and teachers to be tested weekly as part of Onondaga County COVID-19 screening program

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon shared his plans Thursday for a weekly screening program in school districts across the county.

School districts can opt into the program that will test 10 percent of the people in each school building for COVID-19, using the saliva pool sample testing created by Upstate Medical University.

Typically, saliva samples are taken from 12 people and tested as a batch. A negative result for each batch means all 12 people are free of coronavirus. A positive batch results in the samples from each of the 12 people being tested individually to identify who’s sick.

Pool testing will take place and results of pooled samples will be returned within 24 to 36 hours.

The weekly screening will help school districts and Onondaga County health leaders to determine what actions are required to contain the spread.

The tests are $20 each at the expense of the county, resulting in millions of dollars in expenses.

McMahon also announced that on Tuesday students and staff can get a test from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at NBT Bank Stadium.

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