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Coronavirus Update: New York City Public School Teacher Under Self-Quarantine, Mayor Discusses Protocol For Schools

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- More information is coming out about a New York City public school teacher who is under self-quarantine over coronavirus concerns.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced new cleaning guidelines for schools.

The Department of Education tells CBS2 the teacher followed protocol and did not come to school once she developed symptoms, but that was after the teacher reportedly spent days in the classroom with her students when she returned from a winter vacation.

"Right now, the most important thing is that teacher is not in contact with students and won't be in contact with students until it's safe to be so," de Blasio said.

The mayor says the teacher, who reportedly spent February break in Italy, is now under self-quarantine after experiencing possible coronavirus symptoms.

"We're gonna look at that situation and see if there's any other follow-up that we need to do at that school," de Blasio said.

CORONAVIRUS: CDC Latest | NYC Guidance For Students | NY Health Dept. | NY Hotline: 1-(888)-364-3065 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Hotline: 1-(800)-222-1222

So-called disease detectives are tracing close contacts at the school. The Department of Education tells CBS2 if the teacher's test comes back positive, her entire class will be tested.

In the meantime, the United Federation of Teachers said in a statement Wednesday afternoon, "A handful of UFT members have reached out to us and we urged those who had traveled to an affected area and had symptoms to get immediate medical attention."

"I think we all agree that closing schools is probably the last option," NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said.

Watch: Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC Officials Update On Coronavirus --

The schools chancellor says his department is trying to prevent such drastic measures as the threat of coronavirus looms closer.

"CDC-approved cleaning supplies have been provided in all 1,800 schools. Deep cleaning will be required two times a week," de Blasio said.

If a student has recently returned to school from an affected area, the mayor says their teachers should monitor for symptoms, and if they look ill, the teacher should immediately take them to the principal or nurse.

"Ask the student to wear a mask only for protective purposes. We will call a parent or a guardian to come and pick up the student and then the instruction is for the parent or guardian to get medical care," Carranza said.


But the mayor says they're still working on the city's protocols for any teachers who recently returned from abroad.

"There have been some issues that have to be worked through, including contractual issues. We will issue guidance later today to all school personnel," de Blasio said.

The city has not specified in which schools these teachers work. The mayor also announced Wednesday that any student absences due to coronavirus will not impact applications to middle or high schools.


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