A portion of in-person students, staff and teachers in schools in New York State’s Yellow Zones will be required to be tested for COVID-19 at least once a week starting this coming Friday, October 16.

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The New York State Health Department October 9 issued guidance requiring 20 percent of students, teachers and staff in schools still holding in-person learning in areas where there has been an increase in cases, like parts of Broome County, to be tested weekly. 

The announcement during Governor Andrew Cuomo’s news briefing did not elaborate on whether the required testing would be 20 percent of all students and staff in a district that has some buildings in the Yellow zone but not others or if it would only be 20 percent of student faculty and staff in the buildings within the zone. 

All results from the testing will be reported to the COVID Report Card dashboard. 

Authorities say the State will provide rapid test kits free to localities and schools that are in the zone and need to do testing under the Cluster Action Initiative if they need them. 

The Department of Health was sending out letters to health departments, schools, hospitals, pharmacies and health care provider organizations on how to access and receive rapid testing kits.