Watch CBS News

Increased COVID Testing Crucial Under Mayor Adams' Plan For NYC Schools

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Millions of Americans are preparing to return to school and work as COVID surges across the country.

In New York, Mayor Eric Adams and other local leaders are preparing to implement a new COVID plan, CBS2's John Dias reported Sunday.

As COVID cases grew, local officials knew they needed a stronger plan in schools. Teachers voiced their concerns, which helped fuel changes.

"We're going to get through this with facts and not fear. We're going to get through this by being prepared," Adams said.

Starting Monday, PCR testing at schools will be doubled. Vaccinated and unvaccinated students will be tested. Teachers and staff will be able to get a test if they want one.

Adams said follow-ups will be crucial.

"We're going to follow the science. The science will ensure that we can effectively deal with this COVID surge," Adams said. "We're not going to be caught off guard again.

In place of shutting down entire classrooms after an exposure to COVID, every student in the class will get an at-home test kit. Children who test negative will return. Children who are positive will stay home.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state will provide 2 million tests to start.

"We saw the failed experiment, despite the very best efforts of incredibly hard working, passionate teachers who did their very best with remote teaching, and the parents who were just pulling their hair out at kitchen tables trying to make sure that it worked successfully. Everybody did their part," Hochul said.

The state's COVID positivity rate is slightly higher than 22%. An additional 500 people have been hospitalized with the virus.

For weeks, teacher showed concerns surrounding safety as cases skyrocketed. One teacher is suing the Department of Education to have remote learning for the next two weeks.

Others worry the city will fall short of providing necessary protection, since not all parents have sent in the paperwork that allows their kids to get tested.

"If we don't have a negative test result from a child, then they're going to have to go into quarantine," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

A vaccine mandate for students could also go into effect. A decision is expected in the spring.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.