Quarantine confusion: De Blasio misspeaks on length of COVID-19 student convalescence

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Mayor Bill de Blasio thanked essential workers and boasted that New York City has over 75% vaccination rate.
Photo by Dean Moses

Mayor Bill de Blasio misspoke last week in reference to how many days unvaccinated public school students exposed to COVID-19 will need to quarantine, according to the Department of Education. 

During a press conference Monday morning, de Blasio stated that the school quarantine policy for unvaccinated students will be for 10 days, five days after stating the policy would in fact only be for seven days in keeping with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Under the agency’s guidelines, unvaccinated students can end their quarantine after seven days when “diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available” and a COVID-19 test turns out negative and the quarantining student showed no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. 

De Blasio has tried to the ease worries over the yet-to-be-fully fleshed out quarantine rule by repeatedly stating that schools communities will see much fewer people needing to quarantine compared to last school year given the city’s vaccination rates. 

About 64% of all New York City residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to City data and about 56% of all vaccine-eligible children, or 300,000 12- to 17-year-olds, have gotten at least one dose. 

In addition, between 70 and 80% of all public school teachers have received at least one dose of a COVID-19, according to City officials, and about 80% of public school principals. 

New York City’s public school quarantining policy could change over the course of the week as members of the de Blasio administration and the city’s powerful teacher union, the United Federation of Teachers, hash out a full school reopening plan for the fall. 

During an interview on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” Mayor de Blasio promised to release details on a public school COVID-19 testing and quarantining policy by this week.

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