New York City School Employees Test Positive For Coronavirus, Says Mayor De Blasio

September 14, 2020

Fifty-five New York City school staff have tested positive for coronavirus as the city enters the final week before students return to classrooms, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

De Blasio unveiled the case numbers Monday and took pains to emphasize they represent a small percentage — 0.32 percent, to be exact — out of roughly 17,000 tests.

“Some people will test positive,” he said. “And those folks will immediately get support.”

School officials last week reported 19 school staff tested positive for the virus. Those numbers were released amid growing concerns from some teachers about safety and testing as they returned to school buildings to prepare for classrooms reopening September 21, 2020.

Random testing will begin October 1, 2020, under an agreement between the city and educator unions over schools’ return. But critics have questioned why all staff and students aren’t required to be tested.

De Blasio, by contrast, offered a more-rosy interpretation of testing numbers. He stressed the positive cases were a small percentage of the whole and outlined fast, free voluntary testing options for students and staff.

This week, students and staff can get tests at 22 different “priority testing” sites in all five boroughs, de Blasio said. Test results will come back within 24 to 48 hours, he said.

De Blasio also announced a multi-agency “COVID response situation room” that will track positive coronavirus cases in schools and take action.

“This will be a constant effort,” he said reported Patch.

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