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NEW YORK — As New York City public schools begin their second week of class, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced several changes in the city’s COVID protocols for schools.

Beginning Sept. 27, the city will conduct weekly testing on all public schools — elementary, middle and high schools, the mayor said Monday.

“The goal is always two crucial things, first and foremost, the health and safety of our kids and our whole school community, second, maximizing the number of kids in school everyday, making sure there’s continuity,” the mayor said. 

In addition, the city’s COVID quarantining protocols are also altered. 

When there’s a positive case in a classroom, unvaccinated students will not have to quarantine if they are masked and at three-feet distance, according to the mayor.

“That will allow more kids to safely remain in the classroom,” he added.

De Blasio said there are currently a number of students out of school due to COVID closures, and the goal is to avoid that.

Based on the first week, the city put together goals and analyzed the data.

In addition, after-school programs will resume, which will help thousands of city students.

About 1,080 sites are opening, serving about 150,000 kids.

To sign up for after-school programs, call 1-800-246-4646 or visit

Since the start of school, over 800 New York City public school students and staff tested positive for COVID out of about 1 million people, according to Department of Education data.

Currently, cases have triggered about 370 classrooms to shut down.

P.S. 79 in East Harlem is closed for the week after a COVID outbreak among staff members that occurred during a pre-school orientation.

Students will participate in remote learning until Sept. 28.