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Mayor De Blasio Announces New COVID Safety Protocols For Public School Students

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With just about two weeks until New York City students return to classrooms, the mayor and schools chancellor outlined new COVID protocols.

Getting more people vaccinated is central to the plan.

CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas attended a vaccination block party in Stuyvesant Heights, Brooklyn at Bethenny Baptist Church, where there was music, games and food.

The fun is meant to get people there. The goal is to have them go inside the church and get a COVID shot, especially students.

At the church, in between the cha cha slide and bouncy house, VIP Star Network CEO Johonniuss Chemweno made his pitch for the COVID vaccine, especially to parents.

WATCH: Mayor De Blasio Announces New COVID Protocols For Students

"Showing them the vaccine itself in terms of look what it feels like, hold it, help understand the content that are inside the vaccine," Chemweno said.

Sixty percent of city residents have now been fully vaccinated, with a sharp increase among 12-17-year-olds as the school year approaches.

"If my son is vaccinated than I know he's more protected and he's still going to wear his mask. So I'm hoping that other parents see it the same way," said parent Margaret Wright.


Thursday, the Department of Education outlined new COVID protocols. Regular testing will continue for unvaccinated students, but at a small percentage than before.

"If we see in any school a need to do more, we can easily send more testing in, literally the same day," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

In an elementary school class, one positive COVID case will require all students to quarantine. Live instruction will be provided. For middle and high schools, in response to one case in a class, vaccinated students showing no symptoms can continue in-person learning.

Vaccinated students showing symptoms and those who are unvaccinated will be required to quarantine, with remote learning. But no details were revealed on if live instruction will be offered.

"We're still working with our labor partners on high school and middle school where you may have partial closures because of vaccinated students," Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter said.

Still, the schools chancellor and mayor say the disruptions from school closures that frustrated parents last fall are less likely this time around, mainly because of increasing vaccination rates and new mandates for school employees. That's why community vaccination efforts are so crucial - because the schools are as safe as the communities they're in.

Right now, the city is centering its efforts around local houses of worship, sending 50 mobile vaccination units to different locations this weekend.

CLICK HERE to read the New York City Department of Education's entire COVID safety guide.

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