NYC reinstates weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated public school students

NYC reinstates weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated public school students

Amid pressure from teachers union, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that public school students would be tested for COVID-19 more frequently.

Under the new rule, every school will randomly test students every week instead of every two weeks. However, only 10 percent of unvaccinated students whose parents have submitted consent for testing will be tested.

“Now we will go for weekly testing. We will conduct tests every week in each school in elementary, middle and high school,” de Blasio said at a press briefing. “It will allow more kids to be in classrooms safely.”

In addition, unvaccinated students who wear masks and follow the 3-foot physical distancing rule will no longer have to be quarantined if a classmate tests positive for COVID-19. De Blasio said this is in line with the federal government’s public health guidance.

“We will change the quarantine approach and align to CDC guidance on that,” he explained. “When there is a positive test in a classroom, unvaccinated students in the classroom will not have to be quarantined if they are masked and are at a distance of three feet.”

The changes will take effect September 27, which is also the deadline for every New York City employee who works at a school and receives at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The mayor’s announcement comes a day after United Federation of Teachers (UFT) president Michael Mulgrew argued that the city should increase testing for children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated.

“I worry that the low frequency of COVID testing this year means thousands of children will spend days in classrooms without an early warning system, which last year made our schools one of the safest places in the community,” said Mulgrew de Blasio Wrote in a letter to

Mulgrew noted that less than half of the city’s more than 1,800 schools and sites were tested in the first week of class, and 663 classrooms have been closed completely or partially. He said the number was likely to be even higher “if the city had exhaustive and rigorous weekly testing protocols.”

On September 13, New York City reopened its classroom doors to nearly 1 million students, many of whom were returning for the first time since March 2020, when the pandemic prompted the closure of the nation’s largest public school system. did.

About 40 percent of New York City public school students went back to their classes this past spring, when city officials allowed families to choose between remote or in-person learning. In a change of curriculum, however, de Blasio announced that the distance option would no longer be available in the fall and that all students would go to school individually, with some exemptions for those with certain medical conditions.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times