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Teachers' union says city isn't following through on testing promises

kala teachers outside.jpeg
Posted at 2:45 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 17:49:05-04

JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens — Teachers in Jackson Heights, Queens were sitting outside I.S. 230 after a positive coronavirus test result at their school yielded no contact tracing.

Now, those teachers say they need to know if they have been in contact with the COVID-19 positive case so they can quarantine and protect their own families.

Social studies teacher Andrea McMannis said the test results were not shared with teachers right away.

“We felt like that should have happened much quicker, and didn’t feel comfortable returning to the building.” McMannis said outside the school Friday.

PIX11 was the first to report the spike in COVID-19 cases among school staff.

The head of the teachers' union, Michael Mulgrew, said the city isn't keeping their promise when it comes to speedy test results.

The Department of Education said 95% of results are in. However, 700 results are still delayed from teachers that were tested last week.

Another complaint is that the DOE has not publicly shared the test results as mandated by the state.

The mayor said that process will start, Sept. 21, when students are back in the classroom.

Mulgrew said that's not good enough.

"Then he's already in violation with the agreement we have and the plan he submitted to the state," he said. "Once you are in the school building, everything kicks in."

Seventy-nine New York City school-based workers lost their lives to COVID-19 following the initial outbreak.

And if a second wave is on the way, teachers and staff want to know the city has their back.