Mayor announces COVID-19 response situation room; UFT says city isn't doing enough to prepare schools

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan to get students and teachers tested as well as a new COVID-19 response situation room on Monday.

News 12 Staff

Sep 15, 2020, 2:03 AM

Updated 1,345 days ago

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Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan to get students and teachers tested as well as a new COVID-19 response situation room on Monday.
However, the United Federation of Teachers doesn’t think the city is doing enough to get schools ready.
New York City public schools are set to open for in-person learning in about a week, and there are concerns over the health and safety of students.
There are also concerns over teacher safety after some teachers reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus after returning to their classrooms last week.
"The city really needs to start looking at everything they’ve actually agreed to and promised the parents the teachers and the students of New York City,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew on Monday.
Mulgrew says there are issues with testing and tracing as teachers test positive for the coronavirus upon returning to school buildings, as well as schools not having proper personal protection equipment. Mulgrew also says there are disinfecting and ventilation issues in schools.
"You’re seeing more and more school communities doing their work outside their buildings on the sidewalk or in school yards,” said Mulgrew.
"We do want parents to get their children tested this week,” said de Blasio.
However, de Blasio says the reality will be that some students and teachers will test positive during the school year and he’s created a team that will deal with suspected coronavirus cases.
"We’ve created a new COVID response situation room for the Department of Education to make sure that whenever there is a positive test there’s an immediate answer,” said de Blasio.
De Blasio also added that he will be adding more teachers to be ready for opening day.
“An additional 2,000 educators will be deployed into our schools immediately,” said de Blasio.
Mulgrew says that number isn’t near enough to accommodate remote-only and blended learning classes.
"We also have to do this other thing called education. It requires an instructional plan and in order to implement an instructional plan, you need the correct number of staff and we do not have that,” said Mulgrew.
Mulgrew told reporters Monday that he wants city schools to open but only if what they agreed on is in place - and right now he says it is not.
He added that he’s heard it’s taking some teachers up to six days to receive coronavirus test results.


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