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NYC Department of Education finalizes COVID plans to keep schools open, following Eric Adams promises

"We can’t lose two more years of education for our children," Mayor Adams says.

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Nick Monroe Cleveland Ohio
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With the first Monday of 2022 underway it means the beginning of the term of New York City’s newest Mayor Eric Adams.

Today, Adams went to Concourse Village Elementary School. There he gave a speech that makes it clear his education policy is keeping schools open through the Omicron COVID variant.

"We’re really excited about the opening of our schools, and we want to be extremely clear: the safest place for our children is in a school building. And we are going to keep our schools open, and ensure that our children are safe in a safe environment."

At a later point in his remarks, Adams described how it’s better for kids to be in schools instead of on the streets and more vulnerable to crime. He also touched on the burden that remote learning placed on parents during the past few years.

In a separate statement posted by Bloomberg, Adams made it clear that his agenda is that New York City can’t continue capitulating to COVID every time a new variant comes along.

In terms of specifics for New York City schools, their Department of Education published a letter that outlines plans and policies.

According to Chancellor David C. Banks, this includes:

  • Home Test Kits: "Beginning January 3, schools will distribute free, take-home COVID-19 rapid test kits to any student or staff who exhibit COVID-like symptoms or have been in a classroom where a positive case has been identified." The policy then outlines that students will have to take two COVID tests – one on the first day they get a test, and then one five days later – and will have to isolate and quarantine for ten days if they get a positive result on either one.
  • New Quarantine Policy: For all students, K through 12, even the unvaccinated don’t have to quarantine if they don’t show symptoms and don’t get a positive result from a COVID test (under the reporting system outlined above). However, kids younger than Kindergarten age will still have to quarantine for ten days.
  • Increased In-School Surveillance Testing: All students from the first grade and upwards will still be subjected to random "surveillance testing." The only addition being added on to this aspect is that NYC schools are doubling their quota on tests conducted.

Many have interpreted Adams as a leader who will likely continue the policies set forth by his predecessor, Bill de Blasio. One of the first things Adams did when taking office was sign a continuance for the vaccine passport scheme currently in place throughout NYC.

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