Otsego County receives COVID-19 testing grant money

·2 min read

Jul. 8—The Otsego County Board of Representatives unanimously approved two resolutions during its meeting Wednesday that will help schools stay open this fall.

The board accepted a $1.5 million grant from the state Department of Health, Public Health Preparedness program. According to the resolution, the funds will help both public and private school districts in the county establish COVID-19 screening and testing programs.

The funds originated from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with 85% of the funds going to school districts and 15% going to the health department, the resolution said. The funds are being administrated through Health Research Inc. of Menands and the county must contract with that company to receive the grant funds.

Kim Schlosser, Otsego County's assistant public health director, said the funds helped schools set up screening and testing practices during the 2021-22 school year, and will help school districts during the 2022-23 school year.

She said the screening and testing practices at the different districts allowed the districts to remain open with in-person learning during the past year.

The original time-frame for the resolution was from June 1, 2021 through July 31, 2022, but funding has been extended through July 31, 2023, the resolution said.

According to the second resolution passed pertaining to the funds, the county contracted with area schools and Otsego-Northern-Catskills BOCES to provide them the funding to support the screening and testing programs.

The resolution stated the amount of money each district that contracted with the health department received. The following schools with the amounts listed are as follows:

—Otsego Christian Academy in Otego, in an amount not to exceed $31,495

—ONC BOCES in Maryland, in an amount not to exceed $1,057,884

—Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton Central School in Gilbertsville, in an amount not to exceed $63,167

—Unatego Central School, Otego, in an amount not to exceed $148,504

—Richfield Springs Central School, Richard Springs, in an amount not to exceed $82,522.

Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton, Unatego and Richfield Springs are not part of the ONC-BOCES, so they received separate funding.

Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at vklukkert@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221.