The NY Times put out what Reality Based Educator (see below) called a "Mission Accomplished" piece on COVID-19 in NYC public schools.
Out of 16,348 staff members and students tested randomly by the school system in the first week of its testing regimen, the city has gotten back results for 16,298. There were only 28 positives: 20 staff members and eight students.
The Times says NYC could be a model nationally for school reopening. This is a huge stretch for the paper of record.
The NY Post has an article written by Selim Algar that puts some real context around the numbers the Times reported.
A total of 2,056 city kids have tested positive for the coronavirus since the beginning of September — with an infection rate of 2 percent, city figures show.
Between October 13 and 19, 23,217 kids were tested and 419 were positive, a 1.8 percent infection rate.
There's more in this article:
Department of Education schools are separately required to relay student COVID-19 cases reported by families, teachers, and labs to the city for confirmation and began doing so on September 8.
As of Monday, the city has counted 527 cases — 226 students and 301 teachers and staffers, according to the data.
Those figures include both remote-only and in-person learners.
On Monday alone, schools reported 27 new student cases and 35 teacher positives.
As part of Mayor de Blasio’s school reopening plan, between 10 and 20 percent of school populations are being randomly tested each month to guard against outbreaks.
The DOE started that process on October 9 and tested 5,829 students and 10,519 staff members over the subsequent week.
A total of 20 employees and 8 students came up positive for a minimal infection rate of 0.17 percent.
While the process is still in its early stages, only 15 percent of blended learning students have so far submitted parental consent forms allowing them to be tested on school grounds.
Asked if that tempered his faith in the 0.17 infection rate and its value as a student coronavirus indicator, de Blasio reiterated his confidence in the city’s approach.
“The results we’re seeing in the schools are just extraordinarily clear and consistent,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing on Tuesday.
Extraordinarily clear and consistent. Virtually no COVID-19 in the schools? They are almost immune. Send in the scientists.
How can we account for it? Here is a message sent to me from a New York City teacher this morning that might in part explain some numbers:
On days when I go into the building, I have exactly 1 student. And I don't even teach him, I just watch him all day while he logs on to other classes while I teach the kids who are at home.
This teacher is teaching real classes remotely. There are reports of blended learning schools where there are actually many live students who are attending but what I am hearing from the teacher above is more typical of the teachers I talk to.
The low in-person enrollment may have something to do with the low number of positive COVID-19 test results. It's easy to social distance if the building is pretty much empty.
The reality is much more complex in the buildings than the rosy picture the mayor is depicting. If the alarming data is right that we might inevitably be headed for a new round of escalating community spread of COVID-19 infections, the Times and the people suing to open school buildings might not look very smart.
Does anyone have attendance numbers from any school buildings?