One of the schools' communications says students who are not vaccinated will be tested weekly once the testing procedure is set. The communication notes the school has already collected proof of vaccination from staff, citing the CDC, State Health Department and American Academy of Pediatrics as sources claiming vaccination is the best way to fight the virus.
The other school’s note says vaccination information will not be shared, but explains it will assist the school and the county health department in determining quarantine requirements.
Neither note seems to take prior infection into account as indication of immunity, though having had COVID is thought by some to provide stronger protection against infection than any of the available vaccines.
Four area public school districts who responded to inquiries said they are not collecting vaccination information from students, with three noting they have not been asked to do so. These districts are Corning-Painted Post, Horseheads, Elmira and Elmira Heights.
One superintendent added the district plans to be able to refer students to places where they can be tested if they choose and asks those playing sports to fill out testing consent forms in an effort to keep athletic seasons going.
When asked about collection of data on COVID vaccine status, a Steuben official responded: “Steuben County Public Health is not asking schools to collect info on whether students are vaccinated.”
An inquiry has also been e-mailed to the Chemung County Health Department.