Mayor, chancellor announce safety protocols for NYC public schools during upcoming school year
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced Thursday health and safety measures for schools during the 2020-21 school year.
The measures announced will apply to all school communities and are being instilled to help stop the spread of COVID-19, according to the press release.
“We are doing everything in our power to keep kids healthy while ensuring they are getting the education they deserve. These rigorous test and trace protocols will keep our students and staff safe as we start off this new school year,” said de Blasio.
“New Yorkers did the incredibly difficult work reducing the risk posed by COVID-19, and as a result we’re in a better position than any other city in the country to safely resume in-person education under the current conditions and with clear, consistent health protocols,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “The safety and health of our school communities is always our first priority – before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic – and we will remain vigilant in monitoring health conditions this fall while driving toward academic excellence for every student.”
According to the press release, the Department Of Education is purchasing large orders of hygiene supplies on behalf of schools, including:
- Facial coverings for students, teachers and staff
- Hand sanitizer
- Electrostatic sprayers
Also, all staff members will be asked to take a COVID-19 test in the days before the first day of school, according to the press release.
Staff will also have priority access for free testing at 34 city-run testing locations.
When school buildings reopen, the press release detailed that daily precautions include:
- An isolation room for students with symptoms with a dedicated staff member or health professional
- Physical distancing and required facial coverings
- Cleaning throughout the day, and nightly disinfecting
- Clear communication with families and school community.
In the event of a positive case, an investigation will be conducted by the NYC Test + Trace Corps to determine close contacts within the school, according to the press release.
The mayor and chancellor say the city will continue to monitor health conditions, and that if community transmission begins to rise across the boroughs, a decision may be made to close all schools and switch to full-time remote learning.