Return to Hybrid Learning and COVID-19 Testing Update
The COVID-19 positivity rate in Oneida County remains the highest in New York State. As stated previously, on September 8, the first day of school, there were 67 active cases in Oneida County. On December 8, the date on which the decision to transition to fully-remote learning was made, there were 2,800 active cases in the county. As of this writing, the most recent data indicates there are 5,434 active cases in our county.
As you know, our planned date of return to hybrid learning is Monday, January 11. Our current “Yellow Zone” micro-cluster designation by New York State requires that we test 20% of students and staff. In preparation, we will begin testing students (for whom parents consented) and staff prior to their return. Staff testing will begin tomorrow, Thursday, January 7; student testing will begin on Saturday, January 9. These dates were selected to provide us with critical and up-to-date data regarding the positivity rate among students and staff that can be used to inform our planning.
Along with evaluation of the results of student and staff COVID-19 testing, we are continually evaluating the status of COVID-19 in our region. Based upon these factors, it is possible we may find it necessary to adjust our return to hybrid learning date of Monday, January 11. While we currently plan to return on the 11th, parents/guardians, students, and staff should be prepared to continue fully-remote learning in the event that it is necessary to adjust the return date.
After student COVID-19 testing is completed on Saturday, we will immediately review the results and other relevant information. Upon completion of this process, we will send an additional communication regarding our return date.
Thank you for your continued flexibility and support of our District as we continue to face these unprecedented challenges. Be well and stay safe.
Dr. Brian K. Bellair
Superintendent of Schools