At last check in Western New York, there’s two confirmed cases of Covid19 at the Amherst Central School District and one at the Westminster Charter School in Buffalo.
Those cases are not listed on the state’s new school dashboard — because it isn’t live yet, even though the state promised it would be up and running this week.
Earlier this month Governor Andrew Cuomo made it a requirement for schools to report cases of Covid-19 to the state department of health on a daily basis.
The results of those reports are supposed to be available at a click of a mouse on a state dashboard, and made accessible to parents and the public on the schools’ websites.
The state said in a statement that the “information will be publicly available on a new online dashboard developed by DOH, which will be found here beginning Wednesday Sept. 9.” As of Friday Sept. 11, that timeline has been pushed to next week.
“What it will be is, it will be used by the school district to provide information to the state on the number of positive cases they have,” said Daniel Stapleton, Niagara County Public Health Director.
Since schools don’t actually perform Covid19 tests. How can they report positive cases to the state?
Erie County Health Department says they work closely with the schools and the districts to make sure schools have accurate information.
In Niagara County, the health director says there are two ways districts can report positive cases to the state.
“So, typically, the school district will find out about a positive child, either from a parent calling in and saying hey my child, just got the results of my child’s test and he or she is positive,” Stapleton said. “And the second way, or the most common way, would be from us contacting them after we get the positive results.”
As far as the local school cases of covid, Westminster Charter School posted on their Facebook that the health and safety of their students and staff is a priority.
And in Amherst, it’s not clear if the cases are a student or staff member. The district superintendent said once the state’s dashboard is up and running they will input their covid information.