BRIARWOOD, Queens — Students who attend NYC public schools will have to wear masks when schools reopen this fall.
“Everyone will be required to wear face coverings,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio Thursday morning.
He said as many students as social distancing guidelines will allow will be in school buildings and for those schools that cannot accommodate every student with the six feet apart guidance, split schedules will be implemented.
Deep cleanings will also be done daily, sanitizing stations will be scattered throughout buildings, and face coverings will have to be worn by all students and staff.
“The masks are gonna be a challenge inside the classroom, but we are realizing we want to remain safe,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.
Zarah Vinola, who’s a NYC high school teacher said “the masks will be a little distracting in the beginning but we have to make sure it is enforced, kids will have to understand their safety is going to have to come first.”
According to many teachers, as long as it is safe, they will go back, but more funding, and more nurses in every building are needed, or NYC may face a child care crisis.
Thursday afternoon, union leaders said the mayor should not be making the decision as to when kids return to classrooms yet.
“I don’t think he’s in a position to do that yet we won’t know until we get closer to the reopening,” said Mulgrew.
“Is this virus going to come back to NY?” he wondered.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also released a statement Thursday, saying while school districts should have a reopening plan, the state will have the final say on when and how kids go back to school this fall.
Still, with all the challenges ahead, the mayor said while it will be different, “it’s gonna be the greatest school year.”