Students in New York, America’s largest school system, return to class
More than one million New York City schoolchildren returned to class on Monday, many for the first time since the system was shut down by COVID-19 in March 2020.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, is hoping the reopening marks “one of those days we remember when we turn the corner on COVID,” although the threat of the delta variant and quarantine may pose a challenge as the system is operational again.
The mayor was adamant about reopening the buildings, although some children considered medically fragile are allowed to continue distance learning. Schools will conduct surveillance tests every two weeks in which they will randomly check 10% of students with the consent of their families.
The authorities expect disruption. Children under 12 are not eligible for the vaccine, and a positive case in an elementary school will cause students in that class to learn remotely for 10 days.
If there is a positive case in a middle or high school, those at least 12 years old and vaccinated will stay in the classroom if they don’t show symptoms – although they should be tested.
Those who are vaccinated but have symptoms will be quarantined for 10 days, while unvaccinated students will be directed directly to the 10-day quarantine but can be tested after the fifth day and return on the seventh day with a negative result.
New York City requires all teachers and people working in schools to be immunized.
They have until September 27 to receive their first dose, although about a quarter of teachers and workers still have not been vaccinated on opening day, according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
Chancellor of the city’s schools, Meisha Porter, said the employees had “homework” to do.
âLet’s be clear – get yourself vaccinated,â she said on Monday. âVaccines are our passport to getting out of this pandemic. “