Due to the large increase of COVID-19 positive cases in Onondaga County and around the country, Fayetteville-Manlius School District officials are asking all F-M families to monitor their students and take the appropriate actions, including testing and keeping students home from school, when they observe any COVID-19 symptoms.
“We are continuing to encourage our students and staff to practice those strategies that have helped mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our schools: wear face masks while indoors, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, maintain social distancing when around others and stay home when you’re not feeling well,” Superintendent Craig J. Tice said.
As of Wednesday, Jan. 5, school principals will no longer be sending generic emails to the families of students who are determined to have been in the same general area, such as a classroom or cafeteria, as another student who tested positive. The emails were sent as a courtesy to inform families that their students may have been exposed in a particular setting, such as a specific classroom. Given the prevalence of COVID-19, the email notification is taking school officials away from the more important task of contact tracing.
This change will allow administrators to more quickly trace those students who are close contacts to a COVID-19 positive individual and may have to quarantine and then notify those students’ families and the Onondaga County Health Department, Tice said.
“We will continue to provide on our website weekly updates on the number of positive COVID-19 cases and resulting quarantines within the F-M school community so those who are not contacted can stay informed on what’s happening within their students’ schools,” Tice said. “This reallocation of our resources will allow us to operate more efficiently and get information faster to those families of the students determined to be close contacts. Thank you for your continued cooperation in this effort to keep our schools open and safe during this difficult time.”