COVID testing delayed in New York City’s yellow zone schools

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — Mandatory COVID-19 testing for staff and students at schools in New York City’s yellow zones was set to begin Friday.

But Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza says the city is still in the “final stages” of working out the details.

The required weekly testing was ordered for the city’s yellow “buffer” zones by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo said Thursday that the state is sending hundreds of thousands of rapid test kits to city schools to complete that testing.

“Some of the local governments have said they don’t have enough tests to do it,” Cuomo said. “I said if you need something, tell me and we will provide it for you. We are going to give New York City 200,000 test kits so they can do the tests in the schools in the yellow zones.”

The governor has previously criticized the lack of testing in schools, indicating that the tests act as an important early warning system for viral spread.

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RELATED: Monthly random COVID testing starts in NYC schools

Carranza said the new round of yellow zone testing should begin next week.

“We as a city had already designated random testing for a subset of our schools every week,” he said. “That began last week and will continue this week. But for the schools in the yellow zone, that will be a weekly test and we’re in the final stages of working with the state.”

We expected to hear more details from the chancellor later Friday morning as he testifies at a City Council oversight hearing on the reopening of schools.

RELATED: Classrooms shut down in NYC COVID zones, parents up in arms

Click here to view the cluster maps if using the mobile app

Rules in the red area:

-Houses of worship – 25% capacity, 10 people maximum
-Mass gatherings prohibited
-Nonessential businesses closed
-Takeout dining only
-Schools closed

Rules in the orange area:

-Houses of worship – 33% capacity, 25 people maximum
-Mass gatherings – 10 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
-Businesses – Closing high risk nonessential business such as gyms and personal care
-Outdoor dining only with 4 person max per table
– Schools: remote learning only

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Rules in the yellow area

-Houses of worship -50% capacity
-Mass gatherings – 25 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
-Businesses open
-Indoor and outdoor dining
-Schools – Mandatory weekly testing of students/teachers/staff for in-person classes. Testing will start next week.

Click here find out if you are in a COVID hot spot and what new restrictions apply.

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