COVID-19: UFT Responds to Governor Cuomo’s Comments on School Closings

 if the community infection rate in the city hits 9%, the safe thing to do is to close the schools,
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On Jan. 4, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference that the state would not move to close school buildings automatically if the test positivity rate in a community rises above 9%, although he had previously indicated that school buildings would close at that rate.

In response, UFT President Michael Mulgrew issued the following statement:

"It’s a real problem when the state and city use different measures to determine the rate of coronavirus infection. Given the fact that all the other communities in the state use the state methodology, New York City should adopt it also.

"Using that state measure, if the community infection rate in the city hits 9%, the safe thing to do is to close the schools, even if the in-school rate is lower. Safety comes first — as shown by the fact that hundreds of our elementary schools and classrooms are closed temporarily every day because the virus has been detected. That is how we have stopped the spread of the virus inside our schools.

"The real answer for New York is making the vaccine immediately available to all school personnel. We can’t let bureaucratic snarls and procedural delays endanger the safety of students, school staff and their families."

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