Potsdam Central finalizing plans for COVID-19 testing, staff vaccinations
BY MATT LINDSEY
North Country This Week
POTSDAM — Potsdam Central School is finalizing plans to test 20% of staff and students for COVID-19 if the state requires and is also working out vaccination plans with local health officials.
The district is working on a vaccination plan for staff. PCS Superintendent Joann Chambers said that St. Lawrence Health Systems will set up a vaccination site in the high school gym so that staff members can get vaccinated in larger groups.She updated the school board at the Tuesday school board meeting.
It is unknown when the next COVID vaccine shipment will arrive in St. Lawrence County. Although no date has been set for vaccination, Chambers said they are exploring offering it on a Thursday and Friday, once it becomes available.
The superintendent says staff members have been contacted to gauge their interest in being vaccinated.
“Our staff are eager to get vaccinated,” she said.
Separately, the district has enough student and staff volunteers for COVID-19 testing if the district is required to test due to a local outbreak.
“We are really doing everything we can to be ready for that,” Chambers said about plans to test students and staff. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo released guidelines last month for schools in designated yellow, orange and red micro-cluster zones to help keep schools open for in-person learning.
State guidelines require schools to complete a certain percentage of COVID-19 tests among in-person staff and students. For a yellow zone, the state has said schools must test 20% of students and staff.
She said numbers appear to indicate they will have enough students and staff to meet the state requirement.
Chambers said a committee was working out testing logistics and nurses were being trained.
“We’re doing all the work we can in advance so that when we get the word, if we get the word, we will be ready to implement the testing,” she said.