Monroe County (Rochester) New York is trending towards becoming an “orange zone” (average 4% positive rate on a 7 day rolling average). This would mean that schools would be required to go online only. But, as part of being a “yellow zone”, we are required to test 20% of the in-school population, and right now the positive rate in schools is 0.14% on a significant (~3650) number of tests.
This means, put simply, that COVID precautions work. Kids in the districts being tested are going to school daily with masks and distancing. They’re not coming to school obviously sick, and they’re not spreading it if they’re not obviously sick. Based on this finding, our county public health commissioner is going to recommend that schools stay open even if we become an orange zone.
The sad part of this is that the testing isn’t happening in the mostly brown, low-achieving Rochester City schools, because they’re online, for a variety of reasons that include total chaos in the administration after the last superintendent basically hid a $60 million budget shortfall. Our mostly white, high-achieving suburban schools are being tested and doing well, even though the suburban towns where they’re located have just gone through a post-Halloween spike. The kids who can least afford to miss school are being hurt the most.
Well, I guess it could be worse — they could live in North or South Dakota.