Only one in five students returned consent forms for random coronavirus testing. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will push for more parents to accept random COVID-19 tests for schoolchildren. The low rate of positive responses from parents was not of immediate concern to him.
“We will continue to receive more and more consent forms – they arrive regularly,” he said. “I don’t see a problem in the short term. ”
He said students are skipped for testing until they return consent forms, even though city officials said the original policy was to have these children learn remotely until they did. that they agree to take the tests.
Of more than 16,000 tests, only 20 staff members and eight students tested positive: a positivity rate of 0.17, according to the city. The sample was taken from 377 schools and 99% of the results of these tests came back within 48 hours.
Each of the city’s 1,600 schools has been required to test 10-20% of its population once a month since October 9. While the sample is large enough at the moment, that is expected to change, especially with the warning of a potential second coronavirus. wave and flu season is approaching.
“We will be encouraging parents in all ways to sign these consent forms,” de Blasio said. “Parents have questions for doctors, in their own language. We make it easy. ”
A spokesperson for the union representing teachers said the education ministry “must and will increase parent awareness.”