NYSUT urges remote instruction for schools in counties with 9% COVID-19 infection rate

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A girl wears a face mask as students sit in a classroom of the Petri primary school in Dortmund, western Germany, on June 15, 2020 amid the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Ina FASSBENDER / AFP)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — On Monday, New York’s largest teachers union released a statement in response to recent guidance from the state.

New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta released a statement on January 4 as a follow-up from recent guidance from New York State regarding schools.

The guidance released from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo urged schools to remain open for in-person or hybrid instruction if their county has a 9% or lower COVID-19 infection rate. However, Governor Cuomo added that this decision is up to each individual school district.

NYSUT President Pallotta responded stating that those schools residing in counties will infection rates over 9% should consider switching to remote instruction.

Detailing this recommendation, Pallotta released the following.

“Our number one priority continues to be the health and safety of students and educators, and that means it’s important to err on the side of caution. Testing data is important, but we believe school districts must still make decisions about in-person and remote instruction in consultation with parents and educators. The entire school community must have the confidence in a district’s plan to stay open, reopen or expand its in-person offerings as infection rates rise in the surrounding community and regions surpass a 9% infection rate. Where there isn’t confidence, remote education is the only viable option.”

As of January 4, New York’s statewide positivity rate was 8.34%.

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