United Federation of Teachers calls on NYC officials to do more to protect against COVID-19
Only a week into the new school year at New York City Public Schools and efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 are already facing obstacles.
The United Federation of Teachers is calling on the city to do more to protect against COVID-19.
According to Department of Education data, 675 either fully or partial public classroom closures are currently in effect - with over 1,800 students and staff testing positive for COVID-19.
The United Federation of Teachers says that the actual number of cases and classrooms that should be closed is probably much higher than that.
The Department of Education reported that it hasn't even done testing in half of their schools and sites and because testing is only done biweekly, hundreds of schools won't even be tested until this coming week.
The combination of cases, limited testing and positive cases so far caused United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew to send a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter demanding testing be done every week.
He wrote in part, "I am concerned that this year's reduced frequency of COVID-19 testing means that thousands of children will spend days in classrooms without the early warning system that last year made our schools among the safest places in the community. We must do all we can to keep our schools open and our students and staff safe. Weekly testing of students under age 12 who aren't eligible to get vaccinated, along with those in District 75, must be reinstated."
Testing had been happening on a weekly basis for all in-person students and staff last year but moved to the biweekly plan for the start of this year.