Responding to an pressing native want, Cornell College and the Cayuga Well being System are donating COVID-19 testing and evaluation to the Ithaca Metropolis College District (ICSD), testing greater than 1,200 college students this week because the district prepares to reopen for in-person instruction Oct. 5.
Cornell and Cayuga Well being are donating $160,000 value of testing capability to the district, the one one among six public faculty districts in Tompkins County that hasn’t but opened its doorways to college students.
Earlier than college students start attending faculty in particular person, they are going to be examined Sept. 30 by way of Oct. 3. The weekday testing will happen from 8 a.m. to five p.m. on the Cayuga Well being Sampling Website, within the Retailers at Ithaca Mall again car parking zone. Two of the three drive-up lanes are being devoted to Ithaca college students. Testing on Saturday will happen from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at a location to be introduced.
The Cornell COVID-19 Testing Lab (CCTL), which opened Aug. 17 within the Faculty of Veterinary Drugs, will analyze the ICSD checks.
“Cornell is happy to have the ability to lend its surveillance testing experience to the Ithaca Metropolis College District because it prepares to restart in-person instruction subsequent week,” stated Joel Malina, Cornell’s vp for college relations. “By means of this joint donation, Cornell and Cayuga Well being System will present the varsity district with an vital and well timed snapshot across the prevalence of COVID-19 amongst its neighborhood previous to college students returning.”
The college and Cayuga Well being are providing this testing in response to ICSD’s request for help because it ready to reopen its 12 colleges to college students, and can make use of extra CCTL capability for pattern evaluation.
“Providing this COVID-19 testing alternative for ICSD college students is sweet for our neighborhood and is a sign of excellent partnerships,” stated Luvelle Brown, ICSD superintendent. “We actually are all on this collectively.”
“Cayuga Well being is proud to proceed to assist our regional neighborhood by way of enhanced testing, as companies and academic establishments resume operations on this area,” stated Dr. Martin Stallone, president and CEO of Cayuga Well being System. “We are going to assist our neighborhood in each doable method throughout this pandemic.”
In keeping with Jennifer Turck, senior director of service traces and COVID lab enterprise operations for Cayuga Well being System, blocks of testing appointments are set at 15 minute intervals to assist stop lengthy traces and ready occasions. Weekday testing will embrace 324 checks per day. On Saturday, there will probably be 240 checks, for a grand whole of 1,212 appointments for the week.
Testing will probably be carried out by Cayuga Well being employees and Ithaca faculty nurses, supported by grasp of public well being college students from Cornell. Nurses and CHS employees will swab the anterior nares – or nostrils – for every pupil who’s unable to self-collect, significantly youthful youngsters.
In keeping with ICSD spokesperson Casey Bangs, anybody who wants a trip to the testing middle can name 2-1-1 after they’ve scheduled an appointment to rearrange for transportation.
With 5,264 college students in pre-Okay by way of grade 12 as of June 30, ICSD is by far the most important in Tompkins County. The Dryden Central College District is second-largest, with 1,418 college students.