NYC schools to reopen with ramped-up Covid-19 testing

New York City, home to the nation’s largest school system, will eliminate its current policy of quarantining entire classrooms exposed to COVID and will instead use a ramped-up testing program to allow asymptomatic students who test negative for the coronavirus to remain in school. 

The new policy, which Mayor Bill de Blasio referred to as “Stay Safe, and Stay Open,” will take effect Jan. 3, when the nearly 1 million students who attend the city’s public schools are scheduled to return from holiday break. 

De Blasio, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor-elect Eric Adams, who takes office Sunday, appeared together at a news conference Tuesday to present a united front against school closures, despite an enormous surge in cases driven by the omicron variant that has only worsened in the days since city schools closed for winter break last week. 

“Your children are safer in school; the numbers speak for themselves,” Adams said. 

Instead of delaying the start of in-person school and pivoting to remote learning, as some other school districts across the state and country are doing, the city will aim to detect more infections while mitigating disruptions. 

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