Good Morning Depew,
The rate of COVID-19 infection is increasing rapidly throughout Erie County. Governor Cuomo has instituted a new strategy of monitoring and responding to outbreaks of new cases within a limited and definable geographic area, which are called micro-clusters. Our students, faculty and staff have diligently followed our health and safety protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, the rising community spread of the virus could impact our hybrid instructional model. A number of towns in Erie County, including Lancaster and Cheektowaga, have been designated as Yellow Zones. Yellow zones are considered to be in a precautionary phase and the District can potentially remain open for in-person instruction.
However, there will be a requirement for mandatory weekly testing for 20% of our students and staff who are learning and working in our schools. If we are unable to meet these testing parameters, we would be required to transition to fully remote instruction. It is important for our school-community to be prepared for this possibility and create plans for childcare.
Yesterday, Erie County Executive, Mark Poloncarz, confirmed that schools should be receiving further information within the next 24 hours regarding the Yellow Zone designation and testing requirements.
The District is awaiting further guidance and working on plans to address this new mandate. I will continue to keep you informed as we receive more information.