COVID-19 ‘yellow zone’ now includes F-M schools

Fayetteville-Manlius School District Superintendent Craig J. Tice sent the following letter to F-M families via the SchoolMessenger notification system on Nov. 24.

Dear F-M CSD Parents and Guardians,

On November 23, Governor Andrew Cuomo identified zip codes 13104 and 13066 as part of Onondaga County’s COVID-19 yellow zone, which means that the Fayetteville-Manlius School District community has been identified as having a microcluster of COVID-19 cases. All six of our school district buildings—Enders Road Elementary School, Fayetteville Elementary School, Mott Road Elementary School, Eagle Hill Middle School, Wellwood Middle School and Fayetteville-Manlius High School —fall within this zone.

To address COVID-19 hot spots, the state implemented an initiative that divides clusters and the areas around them into three categories: the cluster itself (red zone), a warning zone (orange zone) and a precautionary zone (yellow zone). 

A yellow zone designation requires the following actions on the part of the school’s within the zone: 

  • To continue in-person instruction, the school must test 20% of its in-person students and staff members within a two-week period.
  • Testing is voluntary, and only those students whose parents or guardians have pre-registered them for the test will be allowed to participate.  Parents and guardians who pre-register their child will be presumed to have granted their consent for the test.
  • If the school does not test 20% of its staff and in-person students, the school must shift to remote instruction for all students until the state removes the zone designation. 

Our school district will be working closely with the Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) to fulfill the testing requirement. Tests will take place at the schools and will be at no cost to the district, staff members or students’ families.

Accordingly, parents and guardians will receive an email via School Messenger over the upcoming Thanksgiving recess which will contain an embedded hyperlink from the OCHD.  By using the OCHD hyperlink, parents and guardians will be able to pre-register their child and schedule a test. If at any time a parent or guardian wishes to rescind their consent, they may do so by contacting their child’s building principal before the time of the scheduled test.

If testing results reveal that the positivity rate among the 20% of those tested is lower than the yellow zone’s current 7-day positivity rate, testing at that school can conclude.

In order to be tested, students, faculty, and staff members must be pre-registered for the test.  Testing will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis until the requisite number of tests have been spoken for in a particular school building.  Unlike what you may have seen in the media, this rapid test (BinaxNOW) is a non-invasive procedure that involves gently inserting the swab less than one inch into the nostril.  Results are returned in 15 minutes.  If a child tests positive, the child’s family will be called to pick up their student from the school’s COVID isolation room.

I appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we work through this latest development. I will continue to provide updates on this situation via SchoolMessenger and on the district website. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me using the Let’s Talk communications portal.


Craig J. Tice

Superintendent of Schools

F-M COVID-19 Zone FAQs