UPDATED 11:33 AM PT – Wednesday, January 13, 2021
As New York City rolls out a coronavirus vaccine, residents are now calling on local leaders to reopen schools.
In an op-ed by the New York Post published Monday, authors argued children have already lost “nearly a year of education.” With teacher vaccinations on the horizon, they said schools should fully reopen.
According to Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), the positivity rate across all 100,000 students and employees was less than one percent, which is a fraction of the city’s 9 percent positivity rate.
Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has stated that as long as school rates are below community rates, they can stay open. However, the president of New York City’s teacher union, Michael Mulgrow, is in disagreement.
“We don’t know what the actual percentage is, positivity percentage, that’s going to tip into schools,” he stated. “We don’t know that yet and I really don’t want to experiment at this point in time, and that’s why I get frustrated when they continue change these policies…all it’s doing is causing more fear and anxiety.”
"Positivity triggers for closing must be upheld, and if they are exceeded, we must close buildings and then redouble our efforts to crush community spread so they can reopen."
— NYSUT (@nysut) January 6, 2021
Meanwhile, many health officials have also called on schools to reopen. They cited the physical and mental health benefits for children.