New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Monday announced students will be subjected to weekly coronavirus testing, which he said will begin next week, on September 27.
“We will now go to weekly testing. We’ll be testing in elementary, middle, and high school each school every week,” de Blasio said Monday, announcing the updated protocols. “That will allow more kids to safely remain in the classrooms.”
He added that they are changing the quarantine approach as well. If there is a positive case in the classroom, unvaccinated children will no longer have to quarantine, as long as they were masked and maintaining a distance of three feet. Previously, such students had to quarantine for ten days.
“That will allow more kids to safely remain in the classroom,” the Democrat mayor said.
The policy follows a push from the United Federation of Teachers, which demanded changes. Michael Mulgrew, president of the teachers’ union, wrote in a letter:
While so far our public schools have successfully reopened, I am concerned that this year’s reduced frequency of Covid testing means that thousands of children will spend days in classrooms without the early warning system that last year made our schools among the safest places in the community.
The news comes as New York City ramps up its vaccine passport requirements, demanding businesses discriminate against unvaccinated individuals. Enforcement began last month. Businesses that violate the rules can face fines of up to $5,000.
“It’s time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good and full and healthy life,” de Blasio said as he announced the “Key to NYC Pass” last month.