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Oct. 21 - COVID Updates and Vaccine Interest Survey

October 21, 2021


Dear Families and Staff Members:


Here are a few updates:


COVID Vaccine Survey for Children Ages 5-11

Dr. Gupta, Onondaga County Health Commissioner, has shared that the Pfizer vaccine may soon be approved for children ages 5-11 years. To ensure an effective and efficient pediatric vaccination roll-out, the Onondaga County Health Department would like to gather information from parents with children in this age group. 


Below, please find a survey link to assess the likely demand for vaccinations among those aged 5-11 years, as well as preference for where and when vaccinations will be available. 


We are asking parents of children ages 5-11 to respond to this survey. The survey will close on Thursday, October 28th.


The district has indicated that we are willing to host a vaccination clinic if there is sufficient interest from our families. The district also meets weekly with the Onondaga Nation Health Clinic and we are happy to support efforts to host another vaccine clinic on the Onondaga Nation.


Question and Answer Session with Dr. Gupta

Recently, Dr. Gupta attended our board of education meeting, via phone, to answer questions from board members and parents on the COVID vaccine and a variety of other topics related to COVID mitigation strategies. Here is a link to the recording of the board meeting - click here. The question and answer session starts around 43:30. Due to time constraints, Dr. Gupta was not able to answer all of the questions submitted. I will email these questions to the state health department, along with a group of pediatricians and medical professionals at local hospitals. I will open up a question and answer document for families once we receive written responses from area medical professionals.


COVID Testing in Schools

Our amazing school nurses are able to offer diagnostic testing and/or surveillance pool testing. Families need to 1) submit a consent form - click here 2) set up an account through Quadrant - you need assistance, please feel free to contact one of our amazing school nurses. Here is a breakdown of our testing from this past week:

  • 61 Negative Samples from Surveillance Pool Testing

  • 21 Negative Samples for Diagnostic Purposes

  • 1 Positive Sample for Diagnostic Purposes

  • 12 Diagnostic Samples Waiting on Results (samples collected yesterday afternoon and this morning). Thank you to Principals Jen Blossey and Simone Gonyea for transporting samples to the lab in Syracuse. 


COVID Case Updates

We have received reports of 45 positive cases of COVID 19 this school year from our students or staff members. Our goal has been to keep our schools safely open, five days a week, for in person instruction. We are fortunate that the mitigation measures we have in place are preventing the spread of disease in our schools. The majority of our cases are being reported from positive household contacts or community spread.


Cases Reported as of 9/21 = 21; 10/1/21= 35; 10/21/21 = 45


Student Cases

Staff Cases

Big Picture






Jr/Sr High



Onondaga Nation School






I sincerely appreciate your continued support as we work together to keep our schools safely open during the pandemic. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me- or 315-529-9550 (cell).



Jeremy Belfield

Superintendent of Schools

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