NYC Elementary School Students to Return to In-Person Classes Next Monday

NYC Elementary School Students to Return to In-Person Classes Next Monday

With many parents struggling to care for their children at home and with data showing the virus largely spares young children, the city will abandon the 3 percent test positivity threshold that it had adopted for closing the school system, the largest in the country, with 1.1 million children.

Cuomo said Thursday that there are about 54,000 hospital beds now available in New York State, despite projecting a need for 120,000.

Under the new plan, preschoolers and students up to fifth grade will return to classrooms December 7.

The city, home to over a million schoolchildren, was once the epicenter of the pandemic, the disease spreading quickly through densely populated working-class neighborhoods.

Cuomo is also releasing the latest COVID-19 numbers for the state.

But the state will add hospitalization metrics - including number of people hospitalized and staff availability - to the formula.

"Upon reopening, weekly COVID-19 testing will be in effect and testing consent forms will be required for our students to return", de Blasio tweeted.

Other strategies included a focus on effective testing, "keeping schools open" for K-8 students, developing an equitable vaccination program that provides access to minority communities, and educating the public about the dangers posed by small gatherings.

Of 148,974 COVID-19 tests reported on Sunday in NY state, 6,819 were positive, or 4.57 percent of the total, up from 4.27 percent one day earlier, tweeted Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday. De Blasio added that the city will address when middle school and high school students can return in the near future.

"So basically elementary schools get a reprieve for another two weeks and then go back and when they go back, still only 20% will be tested and still early childhood kids will not be tested?!"

On Sunday, De Blasio made the announcement in a news briefing.

During his news conference, Cuomo shared a quote that said: "Tough times don't last because tough people outlast them".

Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, said in a statement that the labor union was supportive of the mayor's phased reopening so long as "stringent testing was in place".

The mayor said the plan was to have in-person learning five days a week.

A parents group called #KeepNYCSchoolsOpen praised the mayor's reopening plan but said it doesn't go far enough. "But the mayor has left behind 145,000 kids in grades 6-12, without any explanation or timeline for reopening". More than 9,300 New York City residents have tested positive for the virus over the past seven days. De Blasio is also softening his push for all students up to 12th grade having the option to learn in-person, instead focusing on letting younger children and students with disabilities, who require more direct support, back in the classroom.

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