NYC Teachers' Union Calls Plan Confusing, 'Absolutely Frightening'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City has revealed specific plans addressing how schools will respond to confirmed cases of the coronavirus in classrooms.

Right now, the plan is for students to return to the classroom in September two to three days a week while learning remotely the other days.

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Now we’ve learned all school staff members will be asked to take a COVID-19 test in the days leading up to the first day of classes, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reports.

Once everyone is back in school, there are a few different plans to address confirmed cases of COVID-19. Each depends on how many confirmed cases there are.


If there is one confirmed case, that student’s classroom will transition to remote learning while the students and staff in that classroom quarantine for 14 days.

The same goes if there are two confirmed cases in the same classroom.

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If there are at least two confirmed cases in multiple classrooms in the same school, the entire school building closes and all students in the school transition to remote learning while contact tracers investigate.

If there are multiple cases in one school and contact tracers cannot determine a link between them, the school will close for 14 days with all students learning remotely.

“People are very quickly going to see there will not be anything near a normal, not until we have a vaccine and people are vaccinated,” NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said.

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The New York State United Teachers union said in a statement “the guidance needs to be crystal clear.”

“That includes under what conditions a district must re-close its school buildings, a timeline for closure, quarantine procedures, the process for contact tracing those who may have been exposed to the virus, and under what conditions schools can be reopened,” the statement continued.

Schools will also be required to have precautions in place for preventing the spread of the coronavirus, including things like an isolation room for students with symptoms and nightly disinfecting and cleaning.

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School buildings will not reopen after a potential outbreak without confirmation from public health experts.