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January 9, 2021

ICSD Communications
607.274.2101, ext. 71105 

ICSD Completes First Week of Voluntary COVID-19 Testing
ITHACA, N.Y. - On Monday, January 4, 2021, the Ithaca City School District began testing in-person students and staff for COVID-19 using Abbott BinaxNOW antigen tests provided by the New York State Department of Health. The district’s school-based testing program is voluntary and caregivers can opt their children in at any time by completing a testing consent form.

The ICSD aims to test 20% of in-person students and staff over the course of each two-week period, similar to the structure required under a “Yellow Zone” designation (the ICSD is not currently in a “Yellow Zone”). Throughout the first week of testing, nurses and trained observers ultimately tested 12% of in-person students and staff across our 12 schools. There were no positive cases identified in the process. 

All positive antigen results must be confirmed through PCR testing. The ICSD reports any health department-confirmed positive PCR result to the New York State COVID-19 School Dashboard and directly notifies school communities of positive cases with in-school contacts. Those who wish to stay informed about positive cases that have not had any in-school contacts are encouraged to regularly check the NYS dashboard, which is updated each school day, as the ICSD will no longer be notifying communities directly unless there are school-based contacts. 

In addition to launching the school-based testing program, ICSD nurses began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine this week. Governor Cuomo has also announced that Phase 1B of the state-wide vaccination rollout will include teachers and education workers.

For more information on the ICSD’s surveillance testing program, visit