New York Schools to Oversee Student COVID Testing Program | News, Sports, Jobs

Governor Kathy Hochul thanks workers at the Clinton Community College vaccination site and holds a press conference regarding COVID-19 in Plattsburgh on Wednesday. (Courtesy of Governor Kathy Hochul’s office)

PLATSBURGH – More than 800 New York City school districts will separately oversee the state’s program to provide each student with COVID-19 home testing kits so that students can continue their education in person after the vacation ends during the week next, Governor Kathy Hochul said on Wednesday.

New York school superintendents and administrators have the choice of administering thousands of 15-minute COVID tests at school, or sending the self-test kits home with the children when they return to class on Monday, after the end of the vacation.

Authorities will send 2 million home coronavirus test kits to all school districts across the state, including 22,000 to schools in the country’s northern region, out of 37 million kits to be delivered to the state to help with fight against the winter surge.

School districts will manage it as they see fit,Hochul said Wednesday during a COVID-19 briefing at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh. “… At the end of the day, our Test to Stay program says we want kids to go back to school.

The governor is strongly opposed to further school or business closures due to coronavirus outbreaks as new infections continue to break daily records. On Wednesday, the state recorded 67,090 new COVID infections – a daily record since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, and a 65% increase from the previous day for an infection rate above 18% for the first time since the initial outbreak.

New cases are expected to continue to rise in the days following the Christmas holidays and the upcoming New Years and New Years celebrations. Home test kits for New York City students will allow children to stay in school when classes resume next week or to return quickly and safely in case a classmate tests positive.

Hochul spoke with about 500 New York City superintendents on a program conference call Tuesday to help them design strategies for children to continue learning in the classroom with another wave of the pandemic.

“There are different strategies you can use and one would be when the kids go back to school make sure they are tested” she said, adding that others would send the tests home with children to use in the event of an outbreak.

When a student is negative, they can resume learning in person instead of requiring an entire class to return to distance education for a 10 day quarantine period, which impacts education .

“It’s so difficult for parents to go back to work, how they organize childcare and it’s so confusing for children and teachers too” Hochul continued. “We therefore want to fully institute a Test to Stay program. … Pack (the tests) in their backpack if someone is positive in their class, let the parents test them the next morning, and send them back if it is negative.

The program will be in effect by the end of the week before students return to school on Monday, the governor said.

Home testing will also allow healthcare workers to administer the COVID vaccine at state-run sites.

The state will continue to send up to 1 million in-home COVID tests to county emergency officials and 400,000 tests to stock each state-run mass vaccination site with tests to help reduce demand at home. middle of the winter wave.

“We get 500,000 here, another million here and we take them out, so they’ll be there” Hochul said.

Earlier this month, the state ordered 500,000 rapid test kits – with two tests per kit, for a total of 1 million tests in total – to be distributed to all county health departments outside of New York. York with additional N95 masks. The supplies were distributed according to the population, according to representatives of the governor’s office.

“Test kits have arrived except a few which took longer due to shipping delays” according to the governor’s office.

Counties where testing is delayed have been notified and are expected to receive their allocation of the 500,000 kits by Thursday.

Test kits will be distributed as they arrive with priority school districts, issued primarily through Cooperative Education Services Boards, or BOCES, according to the governor’s office.

Distribution will be prioritized by counties with the highest case rates.

At least 3 million test kits are expected to arrive this week with additional kits allocated as shipments arrive.

A state-run online portal for New Yorkers to order COVID home test kits will go live in the coming days.

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