NY Teachers Unions Want Schools Closed After a Confirmed COVID-19 Case

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Members of two of New York's teachers unions are calling for schools to be closed if there's a confirmed coronavirus case in their building.

New York State United Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers say kids should be sent home for two weeks and return once schools are disinfected and cleaned.

In a press release they said, "The unions believe that if districts are to move forward with reopening their school buildings, they must err on the side of caution at all times. Specifically, in the event of a positive COVID-19 case, the unions 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. In addition, the unions are demanding clear statewide directives for how immediate contact tracing is to be conducted and for how mandatory and precautionary quarantining for those who may have been exposed in schools is to be implemented by local health officials."

The unions also say students would have to learn remotely if they're taken out of the classroom. Unions are also asking the state for clear guidelines on how a potential outbreak should be handled.

“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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