Two teachers at public schools in Park Slope and Sunset Park have tested positive for COVID-19 — one day after school buildings reopened for staffers.
A teacher at PS 1 The Bergen Elementary School in Sunset Park and another teacher at MS 88 The Park Slope Education Complex — both of which are in District 15 — have tested positive for the virus, the Department of Education confirmed.
The tests come as public school teachers were encouraged, but not required, to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to schools. Families were notified of the positive results last night.
Neither school was closed, and educators were given the option to work from home as the city reaches out to the teachers’ contacts for testing and tracing, said an DOE spokeswoman.
“School staff have access to free, expedited testing and we’ve encouraged all staff to get tested before they return to buildings while we continue to navigate the realities of a pandemic,” spokeswoman Miranda Barbot wrote in an email to amNewYork Metro. “Our protocol is to immediately notify staff and Test and Trace will begin an investigation to determine any close contacts. We’ll require any staff identified as close contacts to quarantine, and remain vigilant to prevent spread.”
Both teachers are isolating in their homes, according to the DOE letter sent to MS 88 families. Although Mayor Bill de Blasio delayed the start of the school year until Sept. 21, teachers and other school staff returned to buildings yesterday to plan for the upcoming school year.
The Brooklyn teachers are the first confirmed cases of an instructor testing positive for the virus after the reopening of a school building — although a group from the United Federation of Teachers said that there was another case at Clinton Hill elementary school that officials have not yet confirmed.
“As of now we know of THREE @NYCSchools w/ positive staff #COVID19 cases: P. S. 11 in District 13, and in District 15, P.S. 1 and M.S. 88. DAY TWO. When staff testing was OPTIONAL,” wrote the Justice caucus within the city’s United Federation of Teachers, known as MORE UFT, in a tweet on Wednesday. “How many more cases are going to spread before it’s too late?”
This article first appeared on AMNY.com.