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Staff at 2 NYC schools test positive for COVID-19 as teachers get ready for students

Coronavirus testing
Posted at 3:00 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 23:54:52-04

NEW YORK CITY — At least two New York City school staff members tested positive for coronavirus since teachers returned to schools on Tuesday, officials said.

Staff at PS 1 and MS 88 in Brooklyn were notified on Tuesday night. Contact tracers started an investigation into any close contacts. Department of Education spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said any staff identified as close contacts will be required to quarantine.

“School staff have access to free, expedited testing and we’ve encouraged all staff to get tested before they return to buildings while we continue to navigate the realities of a pandemic," Barbot said. "Our protocol is to immediately notify staff and Test and Trace will begin an investigation to determine any close contacts."

New York City's reopening protocols do not require schools to shut down when a single case is identified. Staff and students from that class will transition to remote learning.

The DOE also launched an investigation into a possible staff coronavirus case at PS11.

Students are set to return to schools on Sept. 21.

Councilmember Mark Treyger, who chairs the New York City Council's education committee, expressed his concern Wednesday.

"I am not reading that the health department, or the situation room, or this administration took active measures to keep staff safe," he said.

Treyger said he's not sure if he feels schools can safely open on Sept. 21 as planned.