Education

State to unveil school report card with daily updates on COVID-19 for every district

Data on COVID-19 in local schools will be available on a new state database set to be unveiled soon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday during a media briefing.

The database will provide specific numbers on a daily basis for every school district in the state, the governor said. The data will be accumulated from three sources: the districts, the local health departments and the labs conducting testing.

“You go to the website, punch in your address, it tells you what school district that your child is in,” Mr. Cuomo said. “Once you go to that district, it’ll tell you everything you need to know about where that school district is with COVID.”

The database will be hosted online at http://schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov.

Type of data that will be published include:

• Positive cases by date of students and staff by school and district.

• Whether a school/district is remote, in-person or hybrid.

• Number of students and staff on-site.

• Percentage of on-site students and staff who test positive.

• Number of tests administered by the school, test type, lab used and lag time.

• Date of last submission/update.

“It’s a big undertaking,” Mr. Cuomo said. “I thank the Department of Health in advance, but it is very important. I think this will give parents confidence and give teachers confidence. They will know on a day-to-day basis exactly what is happening. They won’t be reliant on communication from the school district, the principal or anyone else.”

The website will go live once the reporting starts, the governor said.

School districts were required to each submit reopening plans to the state that outline guidelines for in-person learning, distance learning and hybrid. Many local districts are beginning the year under a hybrid model.

Mr. Cuomo noted that the plans are only as good as the district’s ability to implement them.

“The rubber hits the road when you go to implement the plan,” he said.

The governor also noted that colleges must notify the Department of Health when they have 100 COVID-19 cases and that could lead to a transition to remote learning. There have been 108 colleges across the country reporting more than 100 cases so far, he said.

“Colleges are a problem and will continue to be a problem,” he said, noting how students come from all over to one location. Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, referred to that as the X-factor when comparing large gatherings at colleges compared to protests.

The governor also outlined the latest general numbers on COVID-19, which continue to trend in the right direction and he referred to this period as the “post-Labor Day phase.”

The infection rate for Long Island on Monday was at 1.5%, the highest mark along with the Hudson Valley among the 10 regions. The average infection rate for the state is 0.96% and has been under 1% for 32 straight days, the governor said.

“Who’s doing this? The continued compliance and discipline of New Yorkers,” Mr. Cuomo said. “The infection rate is a pure function of what New Yorkers are doing.”