Schools in yellow zone microcluster working on mandated testing plan

Local News

ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The state has designated parts of Onondaga County as falling in the “yellow zone.” This includes parts of Syracuse, East Syracuse, Solvay, Clay, Lysander, and the Town of Salina. In those areas, that means gatherings must be limited, and certain businesses must restrict capacity even more. This also means schools have to test 20% of their students and staff each week. 

The East Syracuse Minoa School District falls in that map. NewsChannel 9 sat down with Superintendent Dr. Donna DeSiato to see how the district is planning to make this work. 

DeSiato admits this will not be an easy feat to reach as right now, they’re only doing surveillance testing of staff members who volunteer to participate every so often. The mandate would require both students and staff who come into the schools to be tested on a weekly basis. That means 20% of the school’s population must go through COVID-19 testing.

What exactly does that look like? Well, it’s something DeSiato says they’ll be working on over the next couple of days.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon says school nurses may have to take on the task. It’s a plan they’ll have to tell parents about, and without their permission, it can’t be done. 

“It’s very important to approach these types of matters very sensitively and to allow parents to make choices and to allow parents, if they choose to actually be present, wherever that location might be, to be present,” DeSiato said.

DeSiato isn’t sure when this plan is due, but she’s hoping to come up with something by the end of this week.

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