School reopening guidance requires more testing, teachers union says

Education

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) says that guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week reaffirms the need for more COVID testing programs.

The CDC says schools can open, and schools want to educate students, but certain steps need to be taken to do so safely. NYSUT President Andy Pallotta released a statement on Friday about the latest guidance:

“Today’s CDC guidance on safely operating schools during the pandemic confirms what New York educators have been saying all along. We all believe students learn best in classrooms, but that must be done in the safest way possible. Masks must be mandatory, there should be six feet of social distancing, schools need adequate ventilation systems and hygiene protocols must be strictly followed. These are the steps that help build confidence in local reopening plans.”

“The CDC also makes clear that COVID testing for students and staff has an important role to play in limiting the spread of the virus in schools. Here in New York, that is not happening like it should. A NYSUT survey of local unions found that this week fewer than 60 of 700 school districts around the state — less than 10 percent — are testing students and staff for coronavirus. That is unacceptable.”

“Now that the CDC has reaffirmed what it takes to safely operate schools, the state and federal governments must provide the financial resources districts need to conduct comprehensive testing programs without having to sacrifice any of the COVID-related and routine academic supports.”

NYSUT is a statewide labor union with over 600,000 members in education, human services, and health care.

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