Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that he is considering a change to COVID-19 school building closure protocols.
With the nation’s largest school system gradually reopening more facilities, Hizzoner said the existing procedure may no longer be appropriate.
Currently, a school is temporarily closed if two or more unrelated coronavirus cases arise in the same building.
“We are absolutely re-evaluating that rule and we’ve been doing a lot of different things with schools lately,” he said. “That is definitely, you know, on the table now, a re-evaluation of that rule, working with our health care team, and we’ll have more to say on that in the coming days.”
The approach has led to the temporary shuttering of 1,852 city school buildings since September, according to Department of Education data.
While the strict threshold was credited with helping to maintain minimal infection rates in city schools, critics said the constant closures were highly disruptive to school operations and parental schedules.
There are currently 1,336 elementary and middle schools operating in some capacity.
As of Tuesday, 289 of them were temporarily closed due to the protocol.
High school buildings will begin opening later this month.
Roughly 30 percent of all city students are currently enrolled in a blended learning format that includes some in-person instruction.