Cases, Testing & Tracing


Voluntary Testing 

To mitigate risk of infection and to ensure that schools reopen safely, schools will offer voluntary testing opportunities in partnership with Onondaga County. 

Students & Staff: Click here to register for testing

Surveillance Testing

To further promote safety and prevent COVID-19 spread, it will be appropriate to perform random saliva-based surveillance testing during the school year. This method of surveillance testing is approved by the New York State Department of Health.

Pools of approximately 12 staff and students will be tested using the saliva protocol. Should the pool show the presence of COVID-19 everyone in the pool will need to have a diagnostic test performed.

Positive Cases & Testing

Once schools are open, there will be specific protocol in place for instances where positive cases have been identified. Each school will have a portal on their website that will allow for 24 hour testing for those who have been in school while symptomatic.

When a positive case has been identified, those who should be tested will be identified by the contact tracers of the Health Department and will be directed to schedule a test through the school’s website portal. 

Onondaga County Health Department/Schools COVID-19 Students Contact Monitoring Process
The image is a flowchart outlining the COVID-19 Contact Monitoring Process from Onondaga County Health Department. The first box on the chart states, "Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) receives report of confirmed case." The second box states, "Investigator interviews case and places individual under isolation and monitoring." The third box states, "OCHD begins contact tracing, determines exposure risk." The fourth box states, "OCHD calls ALL identified contacts of confirmed case." The fifth box states, "Close contacts placed under mandatory quarantine for 14 days from date of exposure." The sixth box states, "Contacts in quarantine monitor themselves for signs & symptoms of COVID-19." There are then two options. The first option includes two arrows, pointing at the previous box and a box that reads, "OCHD calls all individuals in mandatory quarantine to monitor temperature and ask about symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and needs for support." The second option is, "Contacts report any onset of signs and symptoms of COVID-19 to OCHD."



Contact Tracing

When a Lab-Confirmed Case is Reported to the Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD)
A staff person (case investigator) from OCHD will contact the confirmed case and their parent/guardian in the case of a student. The confirmed case is interviewed and contacts identified. School personnel assist health department in identifying specifics pertaining to the exposure.
  • The confirmed case is out in isolation for 10 days.
  • Release from isolation can only be granted by OCHD.
Contact Tracing Process
All contacts of confirmed case interviewed to determine exposure risk. 14-day quarantine is issued by contact tracer for all close contacts of confirmed case. Quarantine Process:
  • Those directed to quarantine will be monitored by contact tracers for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Contacts who develop symptoms become a Person Under Investigation (PUI) and are referred for testing and further investigation
    • Positive tests reported to OCHD and process begins again
    • Release from quarantine can only be granted by OCHD
School Closure Related to Positive Cases
School closure depends on the rate of infection in the community. Closure will occur with the consultation and guidance of OCHD and can vary depending on the situation. One such example is if there are two separate, and seemingly unrelated, cases in two different classrooms of the same building.