St. Lawrence County school districts yet to provide COVID-19 data
BY JIMMY LAWTON
North Country This Week
St. Lawrence County Schools have been open for more than a week, but no data regarding the number of COVID-19 cases in local districts has been shared publicly.
Colleges, both private and public, have been sharing data publicly throughout the pandemic.North Country This Week has attempted to contact officials at the Governor’s office and Department of Health regarding why state data on COVID infections at the districts is not being shared, but received no answers to multiple questions regarding the state’s COVID-19 school dashboard at https://schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov/#/home
Responses from the department simply pointed to a regulation, which required the schools to report the data to the state, but it did not include language expressly saying the state must share that data.
On Friday some news agencies reported that schools would be uploading data today, but North Country This Week received no such notice.
Attempts to confirm the stories with St. Lawrence-Lewis County BOCES officials were made but remain, a spokesperson said they had not yet received an update from the state.
Currently the website, which previously displayed data from June, is showing no data and notes that it will be down temporarily while it is being updated.
“The New York State School COVID Report Card website is currently being updated; as such, survey data will not be displayed to the public temporarily. Please check back for updates,” the website says.
However, no timeframe for when the information will be available, or in what form has been provided.
This comes as New York City school districts open their doors.
St. Lawrence County has seen 13 deaths since the Delta wave hit the county and hospitals are approaching capacity and facing staffing shortages as kids return to classrooms.
Local colleges, which require vaccinations, are seeing outbreaks and cases at public schools in St. Lawrence County are being quietly reported to parents, but not to the general public
St. Lawrence County’s Board of Health has reported that the current wave is impacting children at a higher rate than last year and locally at least one child under 12 was hospitalized from the illness. However, Dr. Andrew Williams, president of the board, says child hospitalizations remain rare.
While the messaging from health professionals consistently lists vaccinations as the best defense against the disease, children under 12 remain ineligible to receive vaccinations.
If and when the state data becomes available North Country This Week will provide an update.