Frewsburg School Board Hears COVID, Testing Update
FREWSBURG — An update was provided to the Frewsburg Central School Board on how the district is dealing with COVID-19 and the testing of teachers who haven’t been vaccinated.
Shelly O’Boyle, Frewsburg superintendent, told the board that since the first day of school the district has had one adult and eight students test positive at Robert H. Jackson Elementary School and four adults and seven students test positive at the middle/high school.
“The number of positive cases at the (middle/high school) was predominantly athletics-related,” she said. “As was the case last year, we are not seeing transmission in school. The one notable observation is that we are seeing a higher number of elementary students positive this year as compared to the very few cases we saw last year.”
O’Boyle told the board that on Oct. 13, the district began weekly mandatory testing of all employees who have not provided documentation of being fully vaccinated. The mandatory screen testing method is pooled testing.
Pooled testing is done by having several blood samples in a group being tested. If the first pool test comes back negative, that means everyone in the pool is in the clear. However, if the pool test comes back positive, at least one person is positive and a second round of testing is necessary. Each person in a positive pool is tested again. This is called a “reflex” test to discover who has tested positive.
“Next week we will phase-in all coaches, substitutes, lifeguards and contractors. The district is planning to phase in voluntary testing of students following communication to parents,” she said. “The Frewsburg district is thankful for the test resources being provided by the Chautauqua County Department of Health, including nursing staff. Additionally, we are thankful to the Erie 2 BOCES for helping to coordinate these efforts.”
O’Boyle said the district has been conducting testing of symptomatic employees.
“This has been very helpful in allowing employees to come back to work once they are feeling better,” she said. “Again, the Chautauqua County Department of Health supplied our district with a supply of these rapid antigen tests.”