MARCELLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Parents are having a difficult time trying to find COVID-19 tests available for their children who are sent home sick from school. However, parents and staff at Marcellus Central School District don’t have to worry about finding a test.
Marcellus School District is trying to make it easier for children and staff members in the district to get a test if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
“Our goal here is to keep kids in school and to keep our kids safe. We’ve been focused on anything that we can do to provide those two goals, to meet our two goals, then we are willing to do it. On the weekends I’ve had people reaching out finding it quiet difficult to locate tests. Certainly its a challenge,” says Michelle Brantner, superintendent at Marcellus CSD.
The district has partnered with Onondaga County to provide diagnostic testing for students and staff.
“They might show up to work and they were feeling fine in the morning and as the day marched on, they weren’t feeling so great,” says Jean Sharlow, assistant superintendent at Marcellus CSD.
As soon as that happens, students and staff can go to the nurses office and get tested. All three nurses offices in the elementary, middle and high schools have test kits available for both staff and students.
“The nurse would evaluate the symptoms. Obviously contact the parent, because at that point if they have any symptoms of COVID, they obviously need to go home. The nurse would check to see if the parent has completed the necessary forms and is in the application that we are using, with Quadrant Biosciences, and obviously chat with the parent about would you like us to test your symptomatic child here before they leave and often the answer is yes because its much more convenient,” says Sharlow.
Sharlow added, “Often the answer is yes, because its much more convenient and in my view safer than trying to find a location where potentially there could be sick people.”
The tests are self administered, which the district says has been very easy.
“I think some parents when they initially heard about the testing they were nervous that it was a nasal test and when they heard that it was a mouth swab, they were much more, especially with the younger students, much more put at ease,” says Sharlow.
The district says the self administered tests are convenient, easy, and fast.
Once the tests are sent to a lab, parents or staff will get an email with their results. So far, the district says the turnaround for results has been around 24 hours.
The district says the only time a student or staff member would have to get a test outside of school property, is if they are exposed to COVID-19 on a weekend or when they are not at school.
The district says 94% of their staff is currently vaccinated.
Every district in Onondaga County is participating in the diagnostic testing, except Skaneateles and Jordan-Elbridge.
In order for students or staff at Marcellus CSD to get tested, they must make a portal online and fill out all required forms.