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Rome Free Academy goes virtual, BOE discusses next steps

After one confirmed positive test from an individual at RFA and one with an individual serving the school, a number of staff members were forced to quarantine, forcing the school to go virtual until November 30.

Posted: Nov 18, 2020 11:11 PM

ROME, N.Y. - The rise in coronavirus cases in our region is now affecting the Rome City School District.

The district sent out a letter confirming that one person at Rome Free Academy and a member of the Birnie Bus service that transports RFA and Ridge Mills Elementary students have tested positive for the virus.

Due to staff shortages caused by quarantines at RFA, the school will now go fully remote starting Thursday until Nov. 30.

The Board of Education met virtually to discuss the district's next steps on Wednesday night.

Board members discussed what could happen if Oneida County goes into a yellow zone, which is a 7 or 10-day average of positive cases higher than 2.5%.

If that happens, the district would have to test 20% of students and staff over the course of two weeks if in-person learning should continue.

Rome superintendent, Peter Blake, says it's not just virus transmission that will keep students out of the classroom, but managing quarantine periods is also a big factor.

"Do I think we can make it through with minimal virus concerns? I do. Do I think we can make it through with quarantine issues? I do not. And then we're weighing the consistency issue of do you keep playing this game where Monday you're okay, by Tuesday you have to close down a few schools for a couple days because of quarantining or in the case of RFA, we're short until November 30," Blake said.

The board expressed that they want to inform families if the district chooses to go remote after Thanksgiving, within the next five school days to give them time to plan for students to go virtual.

The district administration will take recommendations from the board and is hoping to have a final decision by Thanksgiving.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2498646

Reported Deaths: 55916
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33129910834
Queens31382710273
Suffolk2375063584
Nassau2130933284
Bronx2067916745
New York1670584632
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Albany30319383
Oneida28146581
Broome23903401
Niagara23621397
Saratoga19884197
Ulster17120276
Schenectady16396226
Rensselaer14517165
Putnam1238596
Chautauqua12199171
Oswego11272111
Chemung10599152
St. Lawrence10215124
Steuben9833172
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Jefferson855174
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Wayne794483
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Genesee6832132
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Clinton656138
Tompkins640359
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Cortland523778
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Tioga494671
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Otsego448554
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Wyoming430957
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Lewis352338
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