BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — “Everyday we may have to find a new way to get through the day,” remarked Michael Cornell, superintendent, Hamburg Central School District.
New York State is supplying more than 5-million COVID test to schools state-wide with some arriving over the weekend.
School leaders are hoping the test kits will provide negative results to keep students in school.
Thousands of COVID-19 Antigen Home Test Kits arrived at Erie 1 BOCES over the weekend as students headed back to school from the holiday break Monday.
In the Alden Central School District Superintendent Adam Stoltman says his district received 1,600 test kits and 600-families picked them up Sunday morning with the rest to be distributed Monday.
“I will share with you that of the 600 test kits that were picked up, we've probably got maybe 18 or 20-families that called us to tell us that those test resulted in positive cases at home and they've kept their students home,” noted Stoltman.
Governor Kathy Hochul appearing for a COVID update in Rochester Monday says this is all about “keeping kids in school”.
“We have plenty of test kits. If we didn't have testing opportunities, we would be having a different conversation. We are making them available with the whole thought — this will give parents and teachers the confidence to know children sitting there are not positive for COVID and let the learning continue,” Governor Hochul stated.
Hamburg Central School Superintendent Michael Cornell say his district distributed about 775 COVID test kits to school families Sunday and another 1,500 will head home with students Monday.
“I have a lot of confidence that families will follow the protocols to the best of their ability,” Cornell explained.
The test kits arrived as the Omicron variant is expected to have a grip on the community over the next few weeks.
“We’ve got four to six weeks here — that amounts to 20 to 30 school days that we all have to try to figure out how to get through each day,” Cornell said.
“My understanding is that they're not readily available in pharmacies. The test lines are incredibly long, so I think it was welcome news for our families,” Stoltman stated
“Superintendent, if there is any thing you would want or need from the state at this point, what would it be?” Buckley asked.
“I would request more of the same — the fact that the governor was able to come out and release tests to us. I think testing is a key for us for our students to make sure we remain in school,” replied Stoltman.
“Superintendent, if there was anything you need from the state — what would it be?” Buckley questioned.
“More tests,” respond Cornell. “You know we got 3,350. I picked them up myself on Saturday and that's one for every child. I know we have staff who would like to have tests sent home with them as well as an allocation of tests for staff would be helpful.”
Cornell, who also serves as president of the Erie-Niagara School Superintendents Association, says districts are preparing to being ‘Test to Stay’ this and next week, so more tests will be needed.
“We’re all starting test to stay here this week and next week, so we need tests for that,” Cornell remarked.
“We, like other districts in the area, are really excited about the ‘Test to Stay’ option that we hope to implement very shortly,” Stoltman said.
But not all schools received the COVID tests. At least two Buffalo charter schools are still waiting. West Buffalo Charter and Charter School for Applied Technologies (CSAT) both telling 7 News the schools did not receive the COVID Test kits yet.
CSAT said the communication it has received from the NYS stated tests would be arriving Monday, but still had not arrived.