Schools COVID report card system: what we know

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Photo credit US Ed. Dept. Photo

BUFFALO (WBEN) - Last week, Governor Cuomo announced that the state would establish an online dashboard that will be used to show each school district's testing reports.

"As soon as the school district gets their testing report on a daily basis, they must send the state that information as well as whoever they send it to, the county, the local board of education," said Cuomo. "That information will be posted online as soon as we get it so parents and teachers will know how many tests were conducted and what the results of those tests are."

As of now, County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the county has no responsibility in providing this information to the state, as that job will fall on the shoulders of each individual school district.

A county spokesperson clarified the process on their end:

"For school-age children who reside in Erie County and who have a positive COVID diagnostic test, our contact tracers will obtain their school information through a case investigation and interview with their parent. Schools are responsible for reporting about data about students and employees through New York State’s COVID Report Card system. DOH will be working closely with schools to inform them about students and staff who are under isolation orders based on a positive COVID test, or quarantine based on their exposure to an individual with a positive COVID test."

On Wednesday, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul was asked about the dashboard and some of the lingering confusion regarding implementation.

"Some of the questions are what the school will know - how many students are in the school on a given day, how many teachers are there; do they know if there has been positive cases from students that they would have sent home?" said Hochul. "So, it will be information that certainly they generate, and if there's any assistance they need from the state, we'll be willing to provide it."

When asked why the districts are being held responsible for providing that information...

"They're the ones who would have the information - they know who is in the classrooms, how many students are on site, they know whether or not teachers have been affected, they know the number of students that have been sent home because of showing symptoms," she replied. "They're the ones who are the best barometer for this information to be provided. If there's anything they don't have access to, the local county health departments will have that."