Increase COVID safety in NYC public schools NOW!

Increase COVID safety in NYC public schools NOW!

423 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
Petition to
Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks

Why this petition matters

In the midst of an unprecedented wave of COVID infections, we know that a multilayered approach is needed to keep our community safe and prevent avoidable loss of life.  To that end we demand the Adams Administration act immediately to implement these common sense steps to increase the safety of our public school community and, by extension, our City. 

We call upon Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks to act immediately to:

I. Increase COVID PCR testing at our schools.  We know that identifying positive cases and isolating those individuals is a key way to prevent spread.  The Mayor and Chancellor should:

  1. Return in-school COVID testing to an OPT OUT system.  When schools reopened in the fall of2020 all students were eligible to be tested unless their guardians opted them out. In September 2021, however, Mayor de Blasio changed the policy so that only those students who returned the form could be tested. This resulted in a reduced number of students participating in the testing program. Without widespread COVID testing, the City will be unable to identify an outbreak and take steps to limit its spread. Social scientists know that when a high degree of participation is the goal, the obvious choice is an opt-out system.  Faced with an unprecedented positivity rate, we call on the Adams Administration to act immediately to make all students who do not opt out eligible for COVID testing.
  2. Include Pre-k and K students in school-based COVID testing. Our Pre-K and Kindergarten students are now the most at risk population attending public schools. They are too young to be vaccinated yet they are excluded from DOE COVID testing. There is no scientific explanation for the exclusion of younger children from testing. Not only do these children deserve improved safety protocols but the city cannot adequately make decisions about the safety of our students without information about how our youngest children are faring in the midst of the current outbreak. We call on the Adams Administration to act immediately to ensure that pre-k and kindergarten students are included in the DOE’s testing program. 

II. Provide all schools with age-appropriate KN95 or KF94 masks for any who need it: Many of New York City’s students are still wearing cloth masks. We know that the Omicron variant is extremely contagious and that cloth masks do not provide adequate protection.  Experts recommend use of KN95 and KN94 masks to keep students and teachers safe. Yet we know that these lifesaving masks are beyond the financial reach of many public school families (73% of public school students are economically disadvantaged per the DOE website).  We can do better to ensure the safety of our school community in the face of widely spreading COVID. We call on the Adams administration to ensure all our children have the equipment they need to learn safely regardless of income level.

We call on the Adams administration to ACT IMMEDIATELY to make our schools safer.

423 have signed. Let’s get to 500!