ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. — How to handle cases of COVID-19 was a key question for districts preparing to welcome students and staff back into their buildings. Now, some schools are seeing confirmed cases already.
"Right now it's anecdotal," said Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul. "We're hearing a case here. A case there. I'm on call regularly with all the county leaders in Western New York asking what's going on in their school districts. We're keeping a good handle on this."
Hochul said right now, the colleges are posing more of a concern than grades K-12, but still, she explained it's something the state is taking seriously.
"Parents are going to be wanting to know the infection rate of the area," she said. "What's going on in the school, how many live cases do they have, how they're being addressed, how many students are in quarantine. So this data will be provided to parents so they can in real-time understand what's happening in their child's school."
"We expected a case but you don't really know when it was going to happen. So, was I overly surprised? Not really, because we were preparing for that to happen," said Keith Lewis, the superintendent of the Lackawanna City School District.
Lewis said they were notified of the case on Saturday and immediately took action.
Mark Laurrie, the superintendent of the Niagara Falls City School District, told 2 On Your Side while they haven't had any cases yet it's likely inevitable.
"Despite our best efforts, these things are happening and they will happen. To date they haven't," Laurrie said.
However, he said he's comfortable with the procedures they have in places to address the issue if and when the time comes.
"Each school has an isolation room," he said. 'Each school has a well-prepared plan if that were to occur. Each night we remind parents of their responsibility with respect to the health and safety of their children, as well as staff, in terms of taking their temperatures and completing their questionnaire."
To view the state's Dashboard for COVID-19 Data in Schools, click here.