Uncertainty still swirling as NYC students set to head back to school

Coronavirus update for NYC

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Friday, August 27, 2021
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It is a different tune at this year's back-to-school party in East New York.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- It is a different tune at this year's back-to-school party in East New York.

"I haven't been in school in a year and a half, two years," says fifth-grader Skye Flores.

Uncertainty is still swirling.

"I am concerned they don't have a vaccination for 12 and under - my kids are 12 and under," says parent Alyissa Flores.

Ten percent of students, with parents approval, will be tested for COVID twice a month. The city's COVID plan aims to prevent schools from bouncing between open and closed, but Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter acknowledged on 'Up Close' that it is possible.

"We learned a lot in the pandemic, and so if we need to pivot to remote, we will," she said.

The city believes the vaccine is the best shot to keep schools open.

As of Monday, 60 percent of students ages 12-17 had been vaccinated. It is not mandatory yet, but Governor Hochul is pushing to change that.

"I'm trying to find a way to make this a requirement, but that's an authority I don't have. But I'm going to find a way to get this done. I think that's the best way, is to have everyone vaccinated," Hochul said.

7-year-old Theo and his twin sister, Petra are two of the four thousand kids participating in Moderna's vaccine trial for children ages 6-11.

Their mom, Jessica Waverka, is still concerned about sending them back to class in Brooklyn.

"We don't have a plan that is clear and isn't specific enough to carry us through the delta variant and other variants that will happen," Waverka said.

New York City public school teachers have until September 27 to get their first dose of the vaccine.

On Friday, the CDC revealed how easily COVID can spread in class. An unvaccinated teacher triggered an outbreak in California, infecting 80 percent of the students in the first two rows closest to the teacher's desk, after the teacher took off their mask to read to the kids.

The school year begins Monday, September 13.

The full details on the new guidelines, can be found in a handbook distributed by the City.

MORE NEWS: Students in Hoboken need COVID vaccine or test to go back to school

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