Hundreds of school buildings remain closed in NYC

Reopening Schools
California pushes back school start times for middle and high school students

School hallway with rows of lockers

NEW YORK CITY — More than three hundred schools weren’t open Tuesday, a sign that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t exactly winding down as states try to ramp up inoculations.

As of Tuesday, 344 school buildings were closed, a record high since elementary and special needs schools reopened. The reason: positive COVID-19 cases.

The mayor said this type of protocol — along with weekly testing, mask wearing and socially distanced classrooms — is what keeps our open schools safe.

He still could not answer when middle or high schools would reopen.

The city’s health commissioner, Dr. Dave Chokshi, said prioritizing school staff for vaccinations is another layer of protection against any strain of COVID-19 — even a highly contagious UK strain.

Right now, his main concern, though, is to make sure the vaccines protect against all emergent coronavirus strains.

Danielle Bello is a teacher in Washington Heights. She wants to know, when high schools finally reopen to in person learning, how protected will her school community be?

She wants to know the percentage of adults in her school building, M.S. 324, that have been vaccinated, and do they have enough for herd immunity in the school?

We requested the number or percentage of educators and school staff vaccinated thus far from the department of education and the mayors office.

“Not today,” officials told us. “We will let you know when we’re able to share this information.”

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