The mayor’s office confirmed with QNS Sunday that P.S. 306 in Woodhaven is undergoing cleaning and disinfection after a school safety officer tested positive for coronavirus.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson confirmed the report of the positive test on Twitter Sunday morning as he called for the closure of New York City public schools.
It’s past time we come up with a plan to responsibly close NYC public schools.
Today we have a confirmed #coronavirus case at P.S. 306 in Queens. The administration’s current plan is to reopen for classes tomorrow pending investigation.
I repeat – schools should close.
— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) March 15, 2020
The mayor’s office confirmed that a school safety agent at the school tested positive for coronavirus and last worked at the school on March 6. The school building is in the process of being deep cleaned today, and is expected to be open tomorrow, pending Health Department confirmation, according to a spokeswoman from de Blasio’s office.
“The health and safety of our students and school staff is our number one priority,” spokeswoman Jane Meyer said. “The individual in question has not been in school for over a week, and this school is being deep cleaned today. We expect it to be open tomorrow.”
Meyer said that letters are being sent out to the school community today and a follow up letter will be sent this afternoon confirming if the school will be open tomorrow.
Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng expressed concern that disinfecting the school may not be enough to prevent the spreading of the virus.
People who are asymptomatic can still be carriers and be at school Monday. Not sure disinfection alone will keep people protected. https://t.co/oJwFb3zcW4
— Grace Meng (@Grace4NY) March 15, 2020
Martin Luther School in Maspeth announced it would be closing and moving to remote learning as a precautionary step due to the outbreak — which comes on the heels of Queens Councilmen Francisco Moya and Robert Holden call to close public schools.
Councilman Donovan Richards, a candidate for Queens borough president, echoed the sentiments from fellow Councilman Mark Treyger and believes the city should close public schools.
— Donovan Richards (@DRichards13) March 15, 2020
Fellow Queens borough president candidate Elizabeth Crowley also believes it’s time to close the city’s public schools.
In this time of unprecedented crisis, we must act and prioritize the safety and health of our children and their families.
Every day that our schools are open, we jeopardize harming elderly and auto-immune compromised relatives. @BilldeBlasio, close New York City schools now.
— Elizabeth Crowley (@ElizCrowleyNYC) March 15, 2020
Meanwhile, Councilman Costa Constantinides, another candidate for borough president, is telling Queens parents to keep their children home from school.
“Any Queens parent who can keep their child home right now should, while we work out a contingency plan that guarantees every child has care, access to a hot meal, and services for our homeless students,” Constantinides told QNS. “We need to flatten the curve in a way that is safe for our children, educators, and first responders as soon as possible.”
Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee also urged Queens families to to keep their kids home from school.
“I strongly urge all Queens families, in no uncertain terms, to keep all children home away from school this week,” said she said.
Additional reporting by Angélica Acevedo.