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Health officials in Central New York, Finger Lakes worried about back to school COVID spread

Local health officials say they are worried about what’s coming as students head back to school.

This week K-12 students headed back to school across the Finger Lakes. Only one district was forced to resume remote learning for an extended period of time due to staff quarantines associated with a positive COVID-19 test and exposures.

Cayuga County Health Director Kathleen Cuddy told The Citizen that the numbers really stood out in August. “I don’t think anyone could have predicted August would have the numbers it did,” she told them.

Cayuga County, like countless other in the rural parts of the Finger Lakes and Central New York, are struggling with vaccination rates. Public health officials agree that vaccinating is the only effective way to stay ahead of- and ultimately defeat COVID-19.

“When we are in a more concentrated setting like a school building, I am definitely concerned that we will see cases continue,” Cuddy added while speaking to The Citizen.

Other health officials around the region were concerned about the Labor Day holiday weekend, travel, and gatherings that likely occurred over that period. An increase in positive cases is expected over the next 2-3 weeks.