NYSUT and UFT set demands in event of positive COVID-19 cases in schools

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FILE – In this July 14, 2020, file photo, amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, Aiden Trabucco, right, wears a mask as he raises his hand to answer a question behind Anthony Gonzales during a summer STEM camp at Wylie High School in Wylie, Texas. School districts that plan to reopen classrooms in the fall are wrestling with whether to require teachers and students to wear face masks — an issue that has divided urban and rural schools and yielded widely varying guidance. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — With final decisions for school reopening to be announced this week, The New York State United Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers stated demands in the event of a positive COVID-19 case in a school this fall.

The unions demanded that state health officials issue clear protocols for building closures within school districts, and how health officials will perform contact tracing and initiate quarantines.

In the event of a positive COVID-19 cases, NYSUT and UFT are calling for the immediate closure of that school building and a return to remote learning for 14 days before revisiting whether it is safe for the building to reopen.

“This is no time to take risks,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “If the state allows school buildings to reopen, districts must be prepared to close them in the event of a positive case. But efforts can’t stop there. Clear state guidance is needed to ensure that confusion doesn’t obstruct serious efforts to stop the spread of this virus in our schools and in our communities.”

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