Almost 5,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding New York City schools transition to remote learning and online classes as the city fights the spread of a virus that has claimed more than 3,500 lives worldwide.
“Our kids and the staff members are taking the subway to school every day,” the petition reads. “I think they are in an extremely dangerous situation.”
Another petition has garnered close to 200 signatures and a third, specific to the NYU campus in downtown Brooklyn, has more than 800 signatures.
COVID-19 has already temporarily closed two Manhattan campuses — Yeshiva University in Washington Heights and New York Law School in Tribeca — after students reported contact with the second confirmed patient, a 50-year-old Midtown lawyer.
Both the City and State University of New York have summoned home students studying abroad in China, Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea.
But Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza both confirmed Wednesday closing schools will be a last resort.
Instead, the DOE will conduct deep cleanings and disinfect schools twice a week, stocked 1,800 public schools with cleaning materials, face masks, and forgiving COVID-19-related absences.