JORDAN, N.Y. (NCC News) — It has been one week since the COVID-19 hotline number has been implemented at the Jordan-Elbridge School District. Superintendent James Froio said it has been a success so far, and the hotline has not been as overwhelmed as he originally expected.
The main goal of this COVID-19 hotline was to act as a bridge between the community and the school district.
Since the Onondaga Health Department has been backed up with COVID-19 contact tracing, Froio took it into his own hands for a way the community can let the school know of exposure. This way, it is one less step for the health department.
Froio said he has received up to a dozen phone calls up to this point. Of those calls, five have called saying they have tested positive for COVID-19.
In response, Froio gives them details about how long they should quarantine and asks if they have had any contact with an individual at the school. If so, he notifies that person to quarantine immediately and to get tested.
Jordan-Elbridge has only had four total cases of COVID-19 among students and faculty. Out of 1,350 students in the district, Froio believes his rates are “pretty good compared to the rest of Central New York”.
Froio did not give an exact number but said there were “a lot” of students in quarantine at the moment within the district.
While those students are in quarantine, they have access to a computer and Wi-Fi from a school Chromebook. Families are also able to pick up lunches from the school from 9-11 a.m.
Froio said he believes “schools are one of the safest places to be, and we want to keep it that way.”
He said that, “since people are still going to work and bringing viruses into the home, it is much different than the scenario we were in back in March.”
Jordan-Elbridge was the first school where Onondaga County began testing within schools. Forty teachers were tested early last week for the virus at the middle school, and all 40 tests came back negative.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Froio said he is nervous about what that means for the students returning after their week off. After seeing the spike in numbers after Halloween, he said he would not be surprised if the same spike happened after Thanksgiving.
If the school does have to move to remote learning, “the school district has been ready to switch to remote learning since day one — I just hope it doesn’t come to that,” he said.
The hotline number to reach out to James Froio if anyone thinks the school may have been exposed is (315)-209-2307.