NYC School Covid Rate Less Than 1% as Middle Grades Return

New York City schools have a positive Covid-19 test rate of less than 1% as middle schools reopen to students for in-person instruction.

About 60,000 students are eligible to return to classes two or three days a week in a hybrid schedule of at-home and in-school lessons. About 70% of the city’s middle school students chose all-remote instruction earlier and will continue to learn at home.

The largest public-school system in the U.S. has administered about 500,000 Covid-19 tests to students and in-school staff, and the positive rate as of Feb. 23 was 0.58%. More than 30,000 teachers have received the vaccine, according to Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.

“New York public schools are the safest place to be,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.

Citywide, more than 1.6 million vaccine doses have been administered. The city is compensating for last week’s storm-related supply delays by boosting administration. It is adding overnight shifts at Citi Field in Queens and Bathgate in the Bronx; and doubling appointments at Teachers Preparatory High School in Brooklyn and Martin Van Buren High School in Queens. Pop-up sites also are planned.

All high school students continue to learn through online instruction. De Blasio said Wednesday that he expects high schools to reopen before the end of the school year.

De Blasio said school officials are watching the infection data to determine “that turning point which we may see soon” to allow parents another opportunity to choose in-school learning rather than all-remote instruction.

“We may see a point when we can do a new opt-in and bring more kids back,” he said. “Middle schools today, high schools soon, and then the window to do another opt-in later this year. And the goal to fully open schools next year.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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