NEW YORK - More than four dozen New York City Education Department employees, including 21 teachers, have died of COVID-19-related causes as of Friday, April 10. The DOE is compiling the numbers as families of the employees report them to the department.
The breakdown of the deaths is as follows: 22 paraprofessionals, 21 teachers, two administrators, two central office employees, one facilities staffer, one guidance counselor, and one food-service staffer, according to the DOE.
"Our thoughts are with their families, loved ones, and school communities during this difficult time. Upon notification of each passing the DOE is providing school communities with the mental health and emotional supports to process these losses," Miranda Barbot, the DOE spokesperson, said in a statement emailed to FOX 5 NY. "We are also supporting staff in notifying their communities in the most appropriate way possible while respecting the wishes of families."
Barbot added that how the employees were infected isn't known because New York has had widespread community transmission of the virus for more than a month.
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"In the unfortunate reality of the public health crisis we are facing as a City, we need to ensure that our schools, students, and employees have the support they need," Barbot said. "We are tracking COVID-19 fatalities in order to effectively deploy crisis support through guidance counselors and social workers remotely and when school buildings reopen."
After initially resisting closing the city's schools, Mayor Bill de Blasio shuttered the nation's largest school system beginning on March 16.