NYC Department of Education to finally release coronavirus death toll
The New York City Department of Education will finally release an inventory of school system coronavirus deaths under intense pressure from the teachers union and others.
The United Federation of Teachers has reported roughly 40 COVID-19 deaths thus far – and city educators have ripped the DOE for staying largely mum on the matter.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked about that lack of transparency at a Monday morning press conference and said the DOE would be issuing a report later in the day.
“The bottom line is, once something’s confirmed we want it released,” he said. “I’m told the today the DOE will put out an update. It’s a very painful update. This is about people who are beloved in their school communities and have done so much good and now they are gone. But today the DOE is going to give that update.”
The agency in control of the nation’s largest school system of more than 1 million students has been under heavy fire since the coronavirus crisis began to spiral in recent months.
The DOE urged schools not to report suspected cases in their community and to instead wait for confirmations from the Department of Health.
Those ensuing delays, critics argued, led to delayed building closures that endangered staffers and others who continued to toil in potentially infected facilities.
UFT factions began to intensify their criticisms last week as the number of members reported to have died from coronavirus by their families mounted steadily.
“There has been an inexcusable lack of clarity and communication from the DOE since this thing started,” said a UFT chapter leader. “And it continues to this day with all this confusion over the rest of the school year.”
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