Yonkers Public Schools exceeds state’s mandated testing; teachers union says they still don't feel safe

Yonkers Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada says the district has exceeded the state's mandated testing requirement for schools in COVID-19 yellow zones.

News 12 Staff

Dec 2, 2020, 3:25 AM

Updated 1,331 days ago


Yonkers Public Schools has released new information about its mandated testing, but the teachers union says they still don't feel safe.
The district is reporting an overwhelmingly low positivity rate in yellow zone schools.
News 12 was told that as of Tuesday, the district's 14 yellow zone schools have tested more than the 20% required by the state.
It says it was required to test 792 students, teachers and staff who go onto campus, but it tested 841. Two of those people tested positive.
"That is less than a quarter of a percent that tested positive. That speaks volumes of how safe our schools are for our students and for our staff," says Yonkers Schools Superintendent Dr Edwin Quezada.
Quezada says they will send their findings to the state Department of Health.
Because the positivity rate falls under the yellow zone's initial rate, it should be cleared to not need further testing.
Quezada says between the first day of school and Thanksgiving, 25 students and 54 staff members confirmed they tested positive.
The teachers union says six additional cases were reported Monday in six schools - in a district that has nearly 27,000 students and thousands of staff members.
Samantha Rosado-Ciriello, the president of the city's teachers union says they don't feel safe.
"We have not been able to get numbers from Dr. Quezada as to how many people are quarantined...When there is a COVID positive staff member that the students...the question is how many of those students are still in school," she says.
Rosado-Ciriello explains teachers who are under quarantine could expose students - who may then go sit in another classroom with other students and teachers.
She says they also want the district to hold informational sessions about COVID policies, contact tracing and cleaning protocol.
Quezada says the district's website is loaded with public information.
"Our chief medical physician, myself and other members of the staff - we will be recording videos to provide additional information...My concern is that we have provided a significant amount of information to all of our members," he says.

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