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Monday testing shows COVID cases in St. Lawrence County student population

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 4:50 PM EST
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - Some St. Lawrence County schools are already struggling with big COVID numbers. A mass testing of students took place over the weekend with at-home test kits added to those numbers.

“As we’ve learned with COVID, it’s minute to minute. We will respond to what COVID brings us on a minute-to-minute basis. And we’ll do our best to provide an in-person education to our students,” said Kevin Kendall, Superintendent of Ogdensburg schools.

Ogdensburg schools already had 185 students out on either isolation or quarantine. Isolation is for those testing positive and quarantine for those exposed. Seven more positive cases were added over the weekend. They’ll also go into isolation. Contact tracing will send more students into quarantine.

“As we’ve seen, there’s no perfect solution to this. This gave us a moment in time where on Monday morning we could determine who was positive at that time,” said Kendall.

In the morning, St. Lawrence County Public Health put up a notice phone lines were jammed “due to the rapid increase in cases.”

Massena schools had 31 new positives by mid-afternoon. 263 students were already either in isolation or quarantine.

This is not the end of at-home testing for students. Those kits that went home Friday, they each contained two tests. And the state plans to send out more tests as well.

St. Lawrence County superintendents elected to send their entire first shipment of tests home with students Friday. Parents were encouraged to test their students Monday morning.

“We wanted to gather some information on positive rates, but it’s also our priority to keep students in school and to make sure that students are safe,” said Laken Kelly, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES’ Public Information Specialist.

BOCES said it would not be able to come up with an overall number for cases discovered through the at-home testing. As of late afternoon Monday, schools were still receiving reports of positive results from the at-home tests.

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