Michael Mulgrew's latest email is below. Mulgrew states: "But we won't stop pushing until we are confident that this new plan has been implemented fully by Jan. 3." In all likelihood it won't be fully implemented and then what does Mulgrew intend to do? You know the answer.
Last week we told the city to fix its safety system for schools that was undeniably broken before the break. Mayor de Blasio and Mayor-elect Adams held a press conference today announcing their new slogan for our schools — stay open, stay safe. That’s a great thing to say, but if we want to stay open and safe, the city has to do the work to make that happen.
Governor Hochul has provided New York City public schools with two million at-home rapid tests, and today Bill de Blasio and Eric Adams announced new elements of a safety plan designed to meet the challenges of this new phase of the pandemic. But we won't stop pushing until we are confident that this new plan has been implemented fully by Jan. 3.
De Blasio and Adams announced three changes that, if implemented correctly, will be a promising improvement to our school system’s safety program:
The staff of the Situation Room will double in size, making it bigger than ever before and able to handle the current surge.
The city will double in-school PCR testing in every school every week. These tests will now include both vaccinated and unvaccinated students as well as staff. The city will make another push to get parents to consent for their child to be tested regardless of vaccination status.
Close contacts and classmates of positive cases will now have immediate access to two at-home rapid tests that they can take to monitor themselves for the days after exposure.
City officials also told us that every school staff member will get a testing kit containing two tests, and more testing kits will be available for them as needed.
Thanks to all of us working together to tell the city we will not accept unsafe schools, our city and state leaders have started to address the myriad issues that we identified. We, as educators, are always prepared to do our jobs. The real issue is whether the city can do its job — ensuring that ample testing is available in every school and an improved Situation Room is actually in place by next week.
We are moving closer to a safe reopening of schools. But we are not there yet. We will continue to work through this week to advocate for you and our school communities and will update you on all the details of the new safety program before Jan. 3.