SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — According to New York State, schools that fall in an orange zone have several restrictions and metrics they need to meet before they can resume in-person learning.
Onondaga County released the following graphic on Monday night:
In order for schools to reopen in a red or orange zone they must:
- Remain closed for at least 4 calendar days after the zone designation is announced (48 hours to ensure lack of infectious contact in the school and additional time for testing), and may re-open as early as the 5th calendar day.
- Ensure that no person may attend in-person on the campus without first receiving a negative test result, this applies to faculty/staff as well as students.
Once they reopen, schools have to test 25% of their in-person population and have less than a 3% infection rate to remain open.
While some clarification is still needed, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said the following zip codes are affected by the orange zone.
- Parts of 13207
- and parts of 13215
According to McMahon only 3 school districts are affected by the orange zone: Lyncourt, Solvay, and Syracuse City School districts.
McMahon said schools closing for the 4-day period won’t impact learning because of the Thanksgiving holiday and he’ll work with districts so they can resume in-person learning on Monday. Restrictions for the orange zone are set to begin Wednesday.
Another layer of zone restriction confusion, many schools “tested out” of the yellow zone guidance but are now part of an orange zone. McMahon is waiting on clarification if every student will now need to be tested in those districts before resuming in-person classes.
Part of CNS, West Genesee, Manlius, and Jamesville-DeWitt are also now included in the yellow zone of Onondaga County. The health department is working to schedule testing for these districts.
“We want our schools to stay open. It’s in the best interest of young people and they aren’t sources of spread,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. The Syracuse City School District is the largest district impacted by the orange zone restrictions. “We’re going to do everything in our power to keep them open.”
You can watch the county executive’s full briefing below. He will hold another briefing on Wednesday at 3 p.m. NewsChannel 9 will be streaming it live on LocalSYR.com.