They report 16 positive cases of COVID-19 in NYC schools just days after the return to school
He main fear that parents have with the return of their children to classrooms of the New York City public schools next September 21st, it is the possibility that they can be infected with the coronavirus. And it is because of them that this Friday several sectors of the school community expressed great concern upon learning that at least 16 workers at the same number of campuses tested positive in testing for COVID-19.
The announcement was made by United Federation of Teachers (UFT), the union that groups the teachers of the Big Applein a statement in which he indicated that if the city it does not improve the testing procedures to know the results faster and if there are more cases in the coming days, does not rule out delaying the return of educators to the classroom.
The concern about possible virus outbreaks when face-to-face classes begin increased this week, after Wednesday, just one day after teachers returned to classrooms for the first time last Tuesday, it was reported that two teachers had tested positive del coronavirus.
The President of the UFT Michael Mulgrewindicated that if the City Department of Education (DOE) does not improve testing procedures and releases results more quickly, in at least 48 hours after a person has it donethey will be forced stop at the start of classes on the 21st.
“If these people were tested at the beginning of September, why are we getting the results now?“Mulgrew question.
“We have worked to make testing quick and convenient for staff in schools across the city, and the results have paid off, with more than 95% of tests returning within 48 hours”, said the spokeswoman for the Mayor’s Office Avery Cohenadding that they were “committed to testing every last case of the virus and we will continue to work in conjunction with UFT to make sure we’re doing everything in our power to make schools safe.”
The union had threatened to call a strike to avoid returning to schools because they considered that the conditions for ensure the safety and health of teachers and the entire school community, but after intense negotiations with Mayor Bill de Blasio and the chancellor of education Richard Carranza, reached an agreement to start classes but ten days later, on the 21st instead of September 10 as originally planned.
What happens if I have a positive case?
The agreement established that the City would put in place a strict plan to guarantee the health not only of children, but also of educators. Among other things, it was agreed that if a positive case of COVID-19 is found in a classroom, that class will be completely closed and all children and teachers in that classroom will need to quarantine. But if there are more than two cases of coronavirus in the entire school, the school will be closed and classes will be remote only.
Mayor de Blasio said Thursday that there was no real plan to disclose positive test results because the students had not yet returned to the schools. “Of course there will be days when you find a case in a classroom and the classroom will have to be closed, sometimes a school will have to be closed,” the president said, adding: “This will be a temporary reality.”
The DOE plan also established that COVID-19 testing among teaching staff would be random and once a month, point criticized by many teachers who demand a stronger and more specific plan.
The UFT reported on the 16 positive cases among the teaching staff, which was 1 in each of the 16 schools, after they were done COVID-19 test to at least 15,000 members of that union.
Parameters to keep schools open:
- 3% must be the maximum level of COVID-19 infections in NYC for them to remain open.
- 5% is the maximum percentage of infections allowed to not close schools given by the State.
- School and health authorities will be reviewing the COVID-19 figures daily.
- All children will have face-to-face, online and combined class options and at any time they can make the immediate change to exclusively virtual classes.
- Strict social distancing and mandatory use of face masks will be enforced.
- There will be cleaning plans at each school during the day and disinfection work at night.
- If a positive case of COVID-19 is found in a classroom, the class will be closed completely and all children and teachers in that classroom will be required to quarantine.
- If there are more than two cases of COVID-19 in the entire school, the school will be closed and classes will be remote only.
- There will be a random COVID-19 testing plan, a point criticized by many teachers who demand a stronger and more specific plan.
- If a teacher or child feels sick, they will be required to stay home and a COVID-19 testing site will be contacted.
- If a student begins to have symptoms at school they will be sent home immediately.
- Positive cases of COVID-19 must be reported by parents, students or members of the school.
- In the case of positive cases, an investigation will be carried out with the NYC Test and the case tracking agency, approaching and testing the people who have shared with those who test positive.