NYC relaxes school closure rules for COVID-19 cases in classrooms
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced changes the Department of Education has made to COVID-19 rules in New York City schools.
The mayor said many parents have been concerned about the stability of school schedules for their children. He says these new COVID-19 policies will address those worries.
"They wanted to know we could keep everyone safe first and foremost, but also have a more stable and consistent schedule," he said.
Under the new policies, a school with two or three COVID-19 cases found in a week will not have to close and instead will double its testing.
The only time a school will close is if there are four or more cases in different classrooms within a week and they can be traced to in-school exposure. The school will then close for 10 days.
"If cases are reported, an investigation takes places, but the whole school does not need to close for 24 hours while that is ongoing,” says Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter.
These changes were made after the city announced that over 65,000 Department of Education employees have been vaccinated.
The mayor says he still has the goal for schools to reopen in "full strength" in September.
The United Federation of Teachers responded to the policy changes in a statement. It said, "While this is a step forward, the most important fact in the public school opening debate is that the overwhelming majority, some 700,000 public school families, continue to opt for remote instruction."