Nassau legislators propose plan for school testing in hope of keeping in-person learning going
Nassau legislators are taking steps to try to keep schools open for in-person learning in designated COVID-19 yellow zones.
When Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a state mandate requiring school in yellow zones to test 20% of students and teachers over a two-week period in order to remain open, some districts raised concerns about a lack of funding and testing support.
In a letter to Garden City parents, the schools superintendent wrote, "If Garden City were to be identified as a yellow zone, we would need to administer approximately 900 mandatory tests in two weeks ... the logistics of this requirement are massive and the cost of implementation is prohibitive."
On Monday, Nassau lawmakers unveiled a resolution designed to make compliance easier and to make sure schools remain open on Long Island.
"Today I have filed a bill which will allow Nassau schools that have been designated yellow zones by New York state the option to operate under that Nassau County Department of Health limited-service laboratory license for the purposes of conducting state-mandated COVID-19 testing," says Legislator John Ferretti.
This means students would be able to be tested in schools by school staff. Under this measure, the cost of administering the tests would also be alleviated.
"And that will help them do it in house, more efficient, more effective and we have free test kits that we can give to them," says Nassau Executive Laura Curran.
Great Neck and Massapequa school districts were recently designated yellow zones, while Garden City says it is on the brink of a yellow zone designation.
Nassau lawmakers say enabling the districts use of a limited-service laboratory license will help keep those schools open.