NYC schools to reopen in 'stages'; plan will be released next week: de Blasio

Photo credit Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- New York City schools will likely resume in-person learning in “stages,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, adding that officials would release a reopening plan next week.

At a news briefing Wednesday morning, de Blasio said he and Gov. Andrew Cuomo discussed the reopening of the five boroughs' schools “in detail” on Tuesday.

Schools will likely reopen on a “school-by-school basis,” starting with District 75 special education schools, the mayor said. Early childhood and elementary schools will resume in-person learning soon after, he said.

Public schools shifted to remote learning on Nov. 19 after the city reported a 3 percent COVID-19 infection rate over a seven-day rolling average.

“Next week, we will announce details on how we’ll come back,” de Blasio said. “For now, the plan is to rely on testing heavily and phase in the reopening.”

City officials will work to ensure all New York City students have COVID-19 testing consent forms on file, as testing “will be more frequent,” he said.

Most schools were testing students for the virus approximately once a month before their physical buildings temporarily shuttered earlier this month, he noted.

“That’s going to increase,” he said. “We’re working out the exact amount, but that’s going to increase.”

De Blasio on Wednesday also announced that New York City has conducted more than 1 million COVID-19 tests since the pandemic hit in March.

"It's a staggering number, and it's just the beginning," he said. "Let's keep getting tested."