July 30, 2020

NYSUT and GNCUT call for clear state guidance for positive COVID-19 cases in schools

Source:  NYSUT Media Relations

ALBANY, N.Y. July 30, 2020 — New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta and Greenburgh North Castle United Teachers President Anthony Nicodemo released the following statement today regarding the need for clear state guidance in the event of a positive COVID-19 case in a school setting:

“The situation in Greenburgh-North Castle has highlighted the need for clear guidance regarding steps that will be taken in the event of a positive COVID-19 case in a school setting. Health and safety is of the utmost concern in reopening schools this fall, and we cannot risk that there will be further local confusion elsewhere like there was in this case. The guidance needs to be crystal clear as to how a positive COVID case would be handled. That includes under what conditions a district must re-close its school buildings, a timeline for closure, quarantine procedures, the process for contact tracing those who may have been exposed to the virus, and under what conditions schools can be reopened. In addition, we believe it is imperative that districts and local health officials err on the side of caution in any case of possible exposure, including moving at least temporarily to virtual learning.

There should be no misconceptions here: The health and safety of students, staff and families must come first.”

New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.