16 NYC school staffers test positive for coronavirus

As New York City schools get ready to open, the UFT has revealed that 16 staffers at the Department of Education have tested positive for coronavirus.

The news creates major uncertainty as the city’s teachers and students prepare to re-enter classrooms.

City hall had released the information of two confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, but just a day later, it was the teacher’s union, not city hall, releasing the crucial information.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says a reporting system will be made available to the public on September 21, the first day of in-person classes when students will already be in schools.

“We’ve said very clearly once school begins there is a regular process for updating the public on what’s happening in each school,” de Blasio said.

The city says it has multiple ways it can be notified about positive tests and will start contact tracing once cases come in.

But for the teachers who started reporting to school earlier this week, the lack of information has been unnerving.

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“You have thousands and thousands of people who are streaming back onto campuses, and so it is again surprising that the city would choose not to disclose this information,” said Christina Veiga of Chalkbeat.

Speaking to FOX 5 NY, one UFT official said that Mayor de Blasio focusing on the 21st to release the information sends a message that the lives of teachers simply aren’t as important to him.