Onondaga Co. announces partnerships to help test teachers before heading back to the classroom

Coronavirus

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced on Thursday partnerships with Upstate Medical, Nascentia Health, and Cayuga Medical to use rapid COVID-19 testing for teachers and staff heading back to the classroom.

Testing for school employees will be on a voluntary basis. Onondaga County will use their mobile units to bring the testing to teachers. Once teachers and staff are tested, high schoolers, with the consent of a parent or guardian, will have testing made available to them.

McMahon also said Upstate is working with the county and school districts on screenings and pool saliva sampling throughout the school year. Pool sampling allows more people to be tested while saving on resources. Saliva samples will be tested in batches and if a batch comes back with a positive COVID-19 test then the individuals who contributed to that batch of saliva will undergo individual diagnostic COVID-19 tests.

“We’ve put ourselves in a very very strong position to open schools, open them safely for the employees and for the students. Because of the position we’re in, this gives a lot of options to the superintendents and districts to do creative things, as far as back to school,” said McMahon.

McMahon said school districts are supportive of testing and working with the County Health Department and the testing partners on scheduling testing before the start of the school year.

You can watch McMahon’s full COVID-19 briefing in the player below.



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