Random COVID testing starts in NYC schools

COVID-19 clusters have been reported in Brooklyn and Queens in New York City as well as Rockland, Orange, Nassau and Binghamton counties in New York

Friday, October 9, 2020
NYC schools start random COVID testing
"All families should participate," Mayor de Blasio said. Parents and guardians will receive the test results for their child and can give their consent online.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Random monthly testing in New York City's public schools begins Friday.

Between 10%-20% of the students and staff at each public school are part of the "medical monitoring" program city officials agreed to with the teacher's union to open school buildings.

Parents or guardians of students under 18 must give written consent before kids are tested in schools. "All families should participate," Mayor de Blasio said.

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Parents and guardians will receive the test results for their child and can give their consent online.

The mayor has been urging parents to sign and return the consent forms, even allowing them to fill it out online this week.

The testing program starts today in about 50 schools city schools citywide and ramps up from there.

Separately, the city must start a weekly testing program in 308 yellow zone schools, as mandated by the state. The city will begin working with the state today on setting up that program, expected to be in place by next Friday.

Cuomo has called on school districts in areas where case numbers are rising to increase testing in schools.

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The new restrictions in COVID-19 hot spots announced earlier this week mean more schools are closing across New York City.

Thirty-three more public schools in 61 buildings closed on Thursday because they are in coronavirus cluster zones designed by state health officials. Those closures were announced just 12 hours before school was to begin.

Click here to view the cluster maps if using the mobile app

Rules in the red area:

-Houses of worship - 25% capacity, 10 people maximum
-Mass gatherings prohibited
-Nonessential businesses closed
-Takeout dining only
-Schools closed

Rules in the orange area:

-Houses of worship - 33% capacity, 25 people maximum
-Mass gatherings - 10 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
-Businesses - Closing high risk nonessential business such as gyms and personal care
-Outdoor dining only with 4 person max per table
- Schools: remote learning only

Rules in the yellow area

-Houses of worship -50% capacity
-Mass gatherings - 25 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
-Businesses open
-Indoor and outdoor dining
-Schools - Mandatory weekly testing of students/teachers/staff for in-person classes. Testing will start next week.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new rules to help fight COVID clusters, including closing nonessential businesses in the main and surrounding areas of a hot spot.

Click here find out if you are in a COVID hot spot and what new restrictions apply.

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