School’s open, and on the East End, by Monday, September 7, two school districts had already reported positive cases of coronavirus. The Riverhead School District advised parents that two students — siblings — in the Aquebogue Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19, while in Southold, two staff members tested positive for the virus.
To track cases in schools as opening commences, Governor Cuomo announced the state Department of Health will require schools to report the number of known cases to the agency every day. Districts were required to report daily data beginning on Tuesday, September 8, according to a letter from DOH Commissioner Howard Zucker sent on September 3.
The information was slated to be available to the public on an online dashboard beginning Wednesday, September 9. A link to the dashboard, which is scheduled to go live Wednesday, must be provided on school district websites.
Dubbed “The COVID-19 Report Card” the dashboard will provide daily data including positive infections by date of students and staff by school and district. It will include information about the number of students and staff on site, and the percentage of students and staff that test positive. It will also offer the number of tests administered, listing lag time, test type, and lab used, and will display the date of the latest submission.
Visitors to the website schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov will be able to type in their home address to identify their school district, select their specific school, and find all reported positive cases, a breakdown of testing and results for students and staff and the current enrollment. The site will also feature seven-day trend charts allowing visitors to track results over time.
“Many of the school districts have testing protocols that will be in place as part of their plans, but as I’ve said from the beginning, those plans are only as good as their implementation,” Governor Cuomo said in a release announcing the measure. “Parents and teachers are understandably concerned about schools reopening. Dr. Zucker and the State Department of Health will set up a dashboard for teachers and parents, so they know exactly what’s happening in their schools. I hope this will give teachers and parents some confidence that the plans are being implemented and if there’s a positive case, they will know and DOH will know and the locals can respond quickly.”