As of November 17, weekly testing has restarted for unvaccinated employees in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District. Christopher Bayer, Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services presented to the board his updates on COVID-19 for the district during their regular board meeting. Since June 2021, the Newburgh Enlarged City School District has held six vaccination drives with 660 people vaccinated.
“We have to have all employees tested unless they show proof of vaccination,” Bayer said. “We need to offer testing to the unvaccinated students and families to provide consent.”
Over the course of the last two months, faculty and staff who are not vaccinated are tested weekly in order to mitigate COVID. During the first week of the school year, 272 employees were tested for COVID-19 and four came back positive. The second week, 254 employees were tested with zero positive cases. Week three, 201 employees with zero positive cases. Week four, 214 tested with one positive case. During the course of the fifth through seventh week, rapid COVID-19 tests were not conducted due to a shortage. It was not until week eight that tests were back on track, with 180 employees tested and again zero positive cases.
Back in October, Bayer had sent out a Google Form to the staff to collect vaccination information and so far he has received support from the staff. “We got over a thousand responses,” Bayer said.
Bayer is also in the process of preparing tests for unvaccinated students with parental consent, creating vaccine drives for 5 to 11 year olds and due to test shortages, Bayer is in communication with a local agency to provide an inventory of tests.