COVID Testing Team Serving Schools

COVID Testing Team Serving Schools

Management Services Division


BY JOEY LAFRANCA
CVES Communications and Publications Manager

 

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, testing capabilities were at a minimum when they needed to be maximized. Champlain Valley Educational Services now plays a key role in  maximizing testing efforts to help navigate the hardships of this deadly virus and assure  in-person learning continues.

This past summer, the Clinton County Health Department applied and accepted a $2.24  million COVID-19 Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) School Funding grant. Those funds allowed CVES to plan and implement a testing program to support and  maintain in-person learning in local school districts.

Randy Lozier was appointed as the CVES COVID Testing Coordinator in August 2021 and  has since developed a strong team that conducts testing in schools and, most recently,  here at CVES where a drive-up test site was established.

“This plan is only as good as the people we have,” Lozier said. “If not for them, this plan would not succeed. We need these people.”

A QUICK START

The day Lozier was appointed to his new role, which was added to his pre-existing titles of  Section VII Athletics Coordinator and Coordinator of Officials, he hit the ground running.

“School was right around the corner when I started,” Lozier said. “There was no time to slowly catch up. It was full speed ahead at 120 mph.”

Lozier’s initial steps as he developed an effective testing system included analyzing the  state testing mandates established by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“We wanted to tailor our system to our schools,” Lozier said. “I went to every school to  make sure the location of testing was suitable so people would be able to come in and out  without having to interact.”

TESTING METHODS

Ways of testing have evolved since the summer, but Lozier and his team have settled on  using a standard cheek swab test from Quadrant. The test is non-invasive and puts people  at ease.

“Very few people have issues swabbing their cheeks,” Lozier said. “We are always there if  need be, but it’s a very easy test to perform.”

Results usually return in two to three days or a bit longer if a test happens close to the  weekend.

THE STAFF

Being able to test is one thing, but having the people to perform testing and keep an  organized structure is paramount to the process. Seven non-school nurses and nine school  nurses in addition to Lozier’s staff make everything possible. Team members are typically out in the field from Monday through Thursday conducting tests, and days for  staff members can begin as early as 5 a.m. and go to 6 p.m. depending on the schedule. Lozier complimented the work of Connor Coty and Kiley Regan who have provided great  assistance to his immediate CVES staff.

“Those two have been outstanding,” Lozier said. “Everyone has been outstanding, but to  see the work of those two, they should be so proud of their work.”

And as much as individuals are proud of their work, the main source of pride comes from  knowing these testing methods help keep the North Country a safer place.

“We are always looking to improve and simplify matters every day,” Lozier said. “Could the system be better? Sure, it could always be better, but the work we have been able to  accomplish is essential to helping end this pandemic.”