Loophole in lockdown of COVID-19 ‘hot zones’ may put others as risk: NYC teachers

Gov. Cuomo left a huge gap in COVID-19’s closure of “hot areas” to allow children and adults living in closed communities to go to schools elsewhere, or to work, teachers say.

Queens teacher Rob Roszkowski told The Post: “You are also so sick whether you go to school in that area or outside that area.”

Thousands of young people attend high schools across the city, crossing the street. Students with disabilities are bused to District 75 schools or programs outside their neighborhoods – and often have difficulty wearing masks.

The “red zones” identified by the state are 2.8% of the state population, but contained 11.9% of the positive test results reported to the state last week, officials said. These include Far Rockaway, Kew Gardens, Borough Park, Gravesend, Midwood, Bensonhurst and Sheepshead Bay.

Cuomo has threatened to withdraw state funding were closed for all schools operating in the red areas, following reports that Orthodox clergy were still packed with students.

Jonah Bruno, a spokesman for the State Department of Health, confirmed that students and adults in the restricted areas – where schools should be completely away from education – could go or work in schools elsewhere. “The DOH has not imposed any movement restrictions on people living in red areas. All people should follow the steps to prevent COVID, including putting on a mask and social isolation,” he said.

Borough Park Brooklyn School
School buses are lined up in Borough Park, Brooklyn, which is one of those “red areas”.Stephen Yang |

Bruno declined to comment on the position or name any wrongdoing.

Asked about the policy at a recent press conference, Mayoraredar de Blasio said the city would monitor whether it could lead to the spread of COVID-19.

“We are clear that we will closely monitor whether the people who move from one community to another have an impact, or not, to date, we do not see that it is taking place in a comprehensive manner,” he said.

Dr. Jay Varma, the municipality’s top public health adviser, also said, “It becomes a question … whether we need to restrict the movement of people in or out of those areas, and that they really have very important values ​​of rights. communicates to people. “

Even at the height of the fire, he said, the state did not restrict human movement in New York.

But movement from outside the state is another matter. The state now requires everyone to return to 38 “Prohibited States” – those with extensive COVID-19 transport – fill out a travel and quarantine form for 14 days.

Employees who work at all DOE city schools must complete a daily health check to ask, among other questions, whether they have recently visited which of those states.

The survey did not ask if they came from one of NYC’s red, orange or yellow areas.

Teacher Queens Roszkowski exploded the city’s “wait-and-see” policy.

“The lives of students and staff need to be more important than the social experience of the municipality,” he said. “As a committed teacher, I fear that the safety of my students, as well as that of myself and my peers, is always in jeopardy with this approach.”

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