Despite some skepticism amid the omicron surge, Mayor Eric Adams says he will keep kids in school as long as they don’t have the virus.
Adams is expected to speak at a school in the Melrose section of the Bronx along with the city’s new schools chancellor, David Banks.
Public schools are doubling the amount of weekly testing, and both vaccinated and unvaccinated students will now be tested
Previously, just 10% of unvaccinated students were tested.
The city is also changing its rules to limit quarantine.
Instead of an entire classroom shifting to remote learning when one or more students test positive, all students in the class will be given rapid at-home tests.
Those who test negative and are asymptomatic will be allowed to return the day after their first negative test.
Students will then be given be given a second at-home test within seven days of their exposure.
The state will give the school districts two million tests to support the changes.
“The test kits, I’ve certainly done them myself, they are not super easy but with the instructions they are entirely doable,” said Health + Hospitals President Dr. Mitchell Katz. “You have to read the instructions but if you read the instructions, you will get it right. New Yorkers are a smart and savvy group and I believe in them.”
“They’re going to send home, home test kits with those who have been exposed, which is great, because they’re hard to get in stores,” one mother told Eyewitness News.
“It is so important, number one, to get our schools open and normalize the educational environment as best as possible,” said Adams. “We are going to have massive testing. We are going to double the number of tests.”
PS 58 in Carroll Gardens, however, will be closed on Monday. The school’s principal sent a letter to parents that the closure is due to staffing shortages caused by COVID.
The DOE tells Eyewitness News that this was not authorized and there are substitutes that could have worked.
In addition to the mayor’s briefing this morning, the teachers union will hold its own news conference in Kips Bay about safety amid omicron.
NYC is the largest public school system in the nation with nearly 1 million students.
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Source: This post first appeared on abc7NY