Students and school staff take advantage of back-to-school COVID-19 testing

Back to School

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Back-to-school testing was in full swing at NBT Bank Stadium on Tuesday.

217 students, teachers, school staff and families lined up at the stadium for a free COVID-19 rapid test before heading back to the classroom for in-person instruction.

Out of those 217 swabs, 4 tests came back positive, according to Onondaga County.

Brianna Young is getting ready to send her daughter, Nora, off to pre-K on Friday and one of the most important things on their back-to-school list was getting tested for Coronavirus.

I just felt like it was important to make sure that she was healthy, especially because kids are often times asymptomatic. Not everybody is going to have their child tested and if I can do my part to make sure she’s healthy and that she’s keeping my family healthy and also her friends in school.

Brianna Young, Mother

The Atherton family of five from Baldwinsville had a similar approach: to be proactive.

“We just wanted to make sure the kids were all set before they went back to school. We don’t want to be those folks who take COVID into the classroom. It took us five minutes here. Nobody complained too much and it’s a rapid test and why not keep the kids as safe as possible?” said Chris Atherton, a school district father.

Teaching assistants, Bernard Washington and Solomon Singleton, received a test on Tuesday in hopes of negative results before heading back to Syracuse City Schools on Wednesday. The weekly COVID-19 test is a state requirement for any school staff member not vaccinated.

“We want to make sure that everyone is safe. This virus that’s going around is very dangerous and if we can do our part as teachers in the district getting tested weekly or getting vaccinated, it will help with the amount of people getting this virus,” Bernard Washington said.

The weekly burden of a test even pushed the two SCSD teaching assistants to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Singleton already has one dose of the vaccine and Washington said he has his first appointment scheduled on Friday.

I got the email that we were going to do this weekly. I was like ‘yeah, I need to go and get vaccinated because I didn’t want to do this every week.’

Bernard Washington, Teaching Assistant, Syracuse City School District

Tuesday’s COVID-19 testing was provided by Onondaga County and Nascentia Health. It’s unclear when the next back-to-school clinic will be.

However if you’re an Onondaga County resident, COVID-19 PCR testing is available through Upstate University Hospital and the Syracuse Community Health Center.

Some physicians, pharmacies and urgent care centers may also offer PCR tests as well. Call ahead to inquire.

To stay up to date with COVID-19 testing opportunities in Onondaga County, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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