In the past few weeks, there has been an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases across Onondaga County, including within the Fayetteville-Manlius School District school community.
“We are closely monitoring the numbers of cases and in which schools they are being reported,” Superintendent Craig J. Tice said. “If we see an increase in a particular school and identify a specific group that seems to be affected, we will notify the families of those students as well as any staff members that are part of the group.”
While Onondaga County discontinued its contact tracing program, the district has continued to maintain a list of positive cases that families report to the schools. That list is shared each Friday on the district website, and the district also reports that information daily to the New York State COVID-19 Report Card.
Particularly this week, Wellwood Middle School officials have seen an increase in reported positive COVID-19 student cases. Principal Melissa Corbin said they are not seeing any patterns in positive cases within classrooms, but instead, a number of students involved with the recent school musical have tested positive for COVID-19. Those families whose students were part of the cast and crew were notified by the director of the musical Saturday morning and asked to monitor their students for symptoms.
The district is continuing to follow mitigation practices that have been in place throughout the pandemic, such as maintenance staff thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all buildings, including highly trafficked areas and wiping down railings and doorknobs. Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout each building, and staff members are encouraging students to social distance when possible.
In addition, many students and staff members are continuing to wear face masks while in school, and anyone may do so at any time.
Students and staff are also welcome to participate in Onondaga County’s weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing taking place at each school. The program has successfully identified individuals who were positive for the virus but may have been asymptomatic and able to unknowingly infect those around them. The surveillance testing is conducted on Fridays and targets a random sample of the staff/student population.
If feeling ill, stay home and get tested for COVID-19, Tice said. Each school has a supply of free COVID-19 at-home test kits for students and staff that are available at any time. Families that need a test kit may contact their student’s school main office, and staff members in need should reach out to their supervisor. Onondaga County also has several testing sites available.
Individuals who have been exposed to, or tested positive for, COVID-19, should follow New York state’s recent guidance regarding isolation and quarantine protocols.