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United Federation Of Teachers President Blasts NYC After 22 School Staff Members Test Positive For COVID-19: 'We're Doing Our Jobs, You Do Yours'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There are more concerns over the reopening of New York City Public Schools after more staff members tested positive for coronavirus Friday.

Frustrated and fed up, in a message to members, the president of the United Federation of Teachers blasted the city left and right.

"We're angry, we're frustrated, we have anxiety," UFT President Michael Mulgrew said.

He says the organization is upset that the COVID test results of many teachers haven't come back in the 24-48 hours promised.

"We're doing our jobs, you do yours," Mulgrew said.

Friday, the Department of Education shut down PS 811X in the Bronx for 24 hours after two positive results, bringing the total number of staff infections to 22.

The union also tweeted photos of teachers at IS 230 in Jackson Heights, Queens, preparing lesson plans outside until they're sure it's safe to go back in the building.

Meanwhile, the superintendent in Chatham, New Jersey, is keeping the high school closed and going remote for another two weeks after more students tested positive there. He says it's likely the transmission happened at a non-school event over the weekend.

The state issues guidance on how to handle cases but ultimately gives discretion to each district and local health department.

"What you're seeing right now tells us that the system is working," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.


Nationwide, doctors warn there's a troubling trend: people refusing to get tested even when they know they're sick.

"If you've been on vacation, if you've gone to a hot spot, if you've gone to a party in the neighborhood ... you really need to get tested," said Dr. Deborah Birx, with the White House coronavirus task force.

The nation's leading infectious disease specialist is concerned about new surges this fall.

"It's not going to be easy. I mean, it's getting, it's whack-a-mole," Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

Back in New York City, the DOE insists this is the safest major city to reopen schools and will not open if the infection rate goes above 3%. Right now it's at about 1%.

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