School buildings must be safe before they reopen

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With lives in the balance, we believe that public school educators in New York City — and nationwide — should not return to school buildings unless there are protocols and procedures in place to ensure the safety and health of the staff and students.

The following things need to be in place when buildings reopen:

  1. Widespread access to coronavirus testing to regularly check that people are negative or have immunity
  2. A process for checking the temperature of everyone who enters a school building
  3. Rigorous cleaning protocols and personal protective gear in every school building
  4. An exhaustive tracing procedure that would track down and isolate those who have had close contact with a student or staff member who  tests positive for the virus

Without these protections in place, our staff and students — and the families they go home to at night — will not be safe from the virus.

To accomplish these critical goals, New York State and New York City need the federal government’s support — from providing additional funding, to helping us achieve testing capacity to ensuring the supply chains are in place — so we can achieve the scale necessary to reopen safely.

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