DOE: 42 public school students and staff have tested positive for COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza tour New Bridges Elementary School ahead of schools reopening
FILE PHOTO: A hallway stands empty during a news conference at an elementary school

Officials from the Department of Education report the total number of New York City public school “blended” learning students, who attend in-person classes one to three days a week,  and staff that have tested positive for COVID is now 42. 

The update was posted to the DOE Twitter account on Friday afternoon with a link to the department’s website where additional information on the city’s school-based testing plan is provided and the total tally is broken down. New test results will be posted to the site daily, according to DOE spokesperson Miranda Barbot. Out of those that have tested positive so far, 17 are students and 25 are staff with 14 attending or working at a public school in the Bronx,  10 in Brooklyn, 9 in Queens, 6 in Manhattan and 3 in Staten Island 

As part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s school reopening plan, between 10 and 20% of all adults and children in a public school will be randomly tested every month in order to gauge the status of the virus.  And although in-person classes began for 90,000 of the city’s 3-k and pre-k students on Sept. 21, members of the city’s Test and Trace Corp. only began administering COVID tests at schools two and a half weeks later on Oct. 9. 

Testers have visited 703 public schools so far and conducted 33,039 COVID tests and have received the results of 27, 619 of those tests. Most of those tests–21,050–have been given to school staff and 12, 019 have been given to students. 

New York City is home to 1.1 million public school students, 46% of which are currently enrolled in hybrid learning, according to the DOE’s most recent data. In order to be thrown into a school’s random testing pool, students under the age of 18 must return a signed parent consent form. Chancellor Carranza recently said during a City Council hearing that only 72,000 have returned a consent form. 

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