On Dec. 28, 2021, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (along with Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor-elect Eric Adams) announced changes to COVID safety protocols in schools that will take effect in January 2022.
In response, UFT President Michael Mulgrew issued the following statement:
Teachers are prepared to do their jobs starting Jan. 3rd. The real issue is whether the city can do its job — ensuring that new testing initiatives are available in every school and an improved Situation Room is actually in place by next week.
We want to thank Governor Hochul for listening to our request, and for providing city schools with 2 million instant tests so that anyone with close contact with a positive case will be able to know immediately if they are infectious and must quarantine.
We’re also glad that after weeks of lobbying both the current and the incoming administrations, the Situation Room is being rebuilt, after basically coming apart in the last several weeks, and that the system will increase its ability to provide PCR tests to more adults and children every week.
We are moving closer to a safe re-opening of school next week. But we are not there yet.