North Country school COVID-19 report: Where districts stand this week


Elementary school in Watertown, New York (WWTI/ Isabella Colello)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — School districts in the North Country are continuing to report COVID-19 cases among students and employees.

This year, school districts are not required to publicly announce each COVID-19 case to the community. However, some are choosing to share cases on a rolling basis or through weekly updates. Each district that has confirmed cases this week is detailed below.

Edwards Knox Central School District.

On September 21, the Edwards Knox Central School District announced that a student COVID-19 case. This then resulted in a few student exposures who were then directed to quarantine and make arrangements for testing.

EKCSD Superintendent then confirmed the school would resume in-person instruction as normal. All students who were directed to self-quarantine were assigned a tutor until their quarantine ends and are cleared to return to school.

Indian River Central School District:

In Jefferson County, Indian River Central School District Superintendent Troy Decker issued a message to its community on Sunday regarding how the district will address positive cases moving forward. Superintendent Decker stated that it will no longer issue direct daily letters to the community, but instead submit positive COVID cases to the New York State Health dashboard.

However, Indian River began adding COVID-19 totals on a public shart, which shows a summary of cases. The chart now confirms that since the first day of school on September 7, there have been 38 COVID-19 cases confirmed in the District. The majority of these cases were presented at Indian River High School which has had 13 students and two staff members test positive for the virus.

Ogdensburg City School District:

The Ogdensburg City School District also announced that it has developed a COVID-19 positive case report, where it will update confirmed cases on a rolling basis. According to the District, this is as COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise in the local area.

As of September 24, there were 36 confirmed cases in the Ogdensburg City School District. Of the total number of cases, 22 of these are at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School, two are at the Dr. Grant C. Madill Elementary School and 12 are at Ogdensburg Free Academy.

South Lewis Central School District:

As previously reported, the South Lewis Central School District strengthened its masking policy for students this week. South Lewis Superintendent of Schools Douglas Premo announced in a press release to the community on Wednesday that students are now required to wear masks at all times on busses and while indoors. Students are also required to wear two-ply masks.

According to Superintendent Premo, these strengthened policies were implemented after ten students have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past week. The ten cases have also placed over 100 students in quarantine.

He added that some of these student cases have been in the same grade level, which is causing concern regarding the potential school-wide transmission of the coronavirus. New mandates went into effect on September 23.

Jefferson-Lewis BOCES

The administration at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES is also continuing to report COVID-19 cases among students on a rolling basis. This week, two cases were reported across BOCES’ two technical centers,

On September 22, Jeff-Lewis BOCES confirmed that a student at its Sackett Technical Center in Glenfield tested positive for the virus. Then on September 23, a student at the Bohlen Technical Center in Watertown also tested positive for the virus. Those who were identified as close contacts were contacted by BOCES and Public Health.

ABC50 will continue to provide updates on school COVID-19 cases as information becomes available.

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