POTSDAM — Updated figures on the state’s COVID-19 reporting dashboard for K-12 schools shows off-site students at Massena, Brasher Falls and Norwood-Norfolk school districts have tested positive for the virus in the last few weeks.
According to the state’s COVID-19 Report Card dashboard, one student in elementary school and two high school students learning remotely at the Brasher Falls Central School District tested positive for COVID-19. Seven off-site high school students at Massena and one off-site high school student at Norwood-Norfolk also reported positive test results.
Norwood-Norfolk Superintendent James Cruikshank said he reported the case to the state a few weeks ago, at the beginning of the school year. He said he believes the case was reported to the district by the student’s parents, but the St. Lawrence County Health Department hadn’t followed up with him directly. According to Mr. Cruikshank, the health department is prohibited from doing so unless a child’s parent signs a release form.
Massena Central School District Superintendent Patrick Brady said only two of the seven cases reported on the dashboard are still active and both students are still in isolation.
“It is these cases that led in part to our decision to move to all remote learning on Sept. 8 and why the high school remains on remote learning at this time,” Mr. Brady said in an email.
Massena schools delayed the district’s in-person opening after a significant cluster of COVID-19 cases emerged in the community late last month.
Officials from Brasher Falls reached Thursday would not provide further details on the district’s three positive cases, but the dashboard seems to indicate they were reported around the beginning of the month as well.
The K-12 dashboard was rolled out last week. It details breakdowns on whether positive cases are from students, staff or faculty members, and whether the results were provided in the last few days.
Potsdam Central School District moved all high school students to remote learning last week after two students tested positive for the virus. The dashboard is the first official indication that both Potsdam cases were students attending classes in person.
The state dashboard is compiled using two sets of information. The first is daily surveys from each school district where superintendents must report how many positive cases have been discovered, among other information. The second is data interpreted from labs themselves which show the number of positive cases found in people ages 5 to 17 who reside within a particular district.
Both the lab-reported and school-reported data is the same on the dashboard for Potsdam, Brasher Falls and Norwood-Norfolk. Massena Central School District’s dashboard shows the lab reporting six positives and the district reporting seven.
According to data analyzed by the Harvard Global Health Institute, St. Lawrence County has averaged at least one new COVID-19 case per day per 100,000 people since Aug. 31. This metric puts it in the “yellow” risk level. Dr. Andrew Williams, president of St. Lawrence County’s Board of Health, said health officials are consulting the Harvard data as they continue to monitor the pandemic locally.
According to data reported by the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department on Thursday, there were eight known active cases in the county.