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NYC Shares Updated Plan For COVID School Closures

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New York City officials revealed a new plan for coronavirus-related school closures Thursday, replacing the so-called "2-case rule." CBS2's John Dias has the details.

Video Transcript

- Mayor de Blasio makes a big announcement about how New York City schools will update the COVID-related closure policy. And the clock is ticking for parents to decide if they want their kids to go back to in-person learning. CBS2's John Dias has the very latest from the mayor.

BILL DE BLASIO: Our public schools are the anchor of everything that happens in New York City.

JOHN DIAS: New guidelines for the new normal at city public schools. Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio issued different rules for COVID-related closure policies that start Monday. The new rules mean any classroom where infection is discovered will immediately close and go remote. If two or three classrooms are affected, they will close, and testing for the entire school will double, but the school won't close.

If infections are discovered in four different classrooms within seven days from a known source in the school, the school will be closed for 10 days. And for multiple schools located in one structure--

MEISHA ROSS PORTER: Additionally, this rule applies to individual schools as opposed to the entire building.

JOHN DIAS: On Tuesday, the mayor said the city was ending its controversial two-case rule. The outdated order temporarily shut down schools if two COVID-positive cases were detected. Many parents saying the rule wasn't logical, hoping this new one works.

- Hopefully it will give more consistency for the children to learn.

JOHN DIAS: This school superintendent, Meisha Ross Porter, insists it will.

MEISHA ROSS PORTER: More days in classrooms for New York City's children.

JOHN DIAS: She says this change will mean the number of overall schools closed will decline, but many classrooms will continue to stay shut, and classroom quarantines will remain in effect. With new research now showing COVID is impacting more kids and younger people, city leaders still insist this is the right choice.

JAY VARMA: I do feel confident that we can continue to apply very rigorous safety standards that will keep our schools safe, even though the virus is, you know, fighting back by evolving and changing.

JOHN DIAS: The teachers union is on board with the new rules, saying the changes could be made safely. The news comes a day before the new extended opt-in period is set to end for parents looking to switch their kids to in-person learning.

And Mayor Bill de Blasio is still confident that by September, so the beginning of next school year, all city public schools will be able to welcome back students to the classrooms in full. From the Upper West Side, John Dias, CBS2 News.

- That opt-in deadline is end of day tomorrow. We have more information on our website, cbsnewyork.com.