NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday provided his "initial vision" for reopening schools, which were closed last week after the rolling 7-day positivity rate in the city surpassed the 3% threshold that triggered the closure.
The mayor said special needs students would be the first to return to city schools when classrooms finally reopen, followed by 3K, Pre-K and elementary school students.
When that might happen is still unclear.
"A lot of details have to be worked out between the city and state," de blasio said.
Bringing back schools will take extra effort, the mayor said, adding that stepped up testing will be critical to the reopening plan.
"We proved we can keep schools safe. It's going to mean more testing, it's going to be a big logistical effort, it's gong to take a lot of parent involvement and we'll have to do it in stages most likely, starting with special education," de Blasio said.
He said any parent that wants their child back in school must fill out a testing consent form.
"This is a point along the way, we're going to fight back this second wave, we're going to get through the holidays into a time where we're going to start to feel the impact of the vaccine," de Blasio said. "Once we have a vaccine, with every passing month I really believe we can make things better. So we're going to be constantly doing the work of bringing our schools back farther and farther and getting more kids back in the classroom so no time like the present to start that work."
The mayor again reiterated that there is a "strong likelihood" all of New York City could be designated an orange zone by the state in just a matter of days, which would lead to the closure of indoor dining, gyms and other restrictions across the five boroughs.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that “Staten Island is a serious problem” and that parts of the borough could become an orange or red zone “this week.”