NYC DOE continues to withhold info on staffers’ exposure to COVID-19

As more teachers test positive for COVID-19, city officials are refusing to disclose how many other school staffers have been quarantined because of exposure to those infected.

The Department of Education said 61 employees have tested positive since starting work on Sept. 8, including 23 who reported to 21 school buildings and possibly infected others. Two buildings had two cases each. Fourteen other staffers tested positive before reporting to their schools.

Officials would not say how many educators have been quarantined, but noted they are expected to work from home while isolated.

Spokespersons for City Hall, the DOE and Department of Health would not say if any of the 61 infected teachers have called in sick or been hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms.

At the Queens High School for Information, Research, and Technology in Far Rockaway, at least 13 teachers and administrators — including the principal and three assistant principals — are now quarantined for two weeks after a supervisor in charge of safety and security tested positive, according to staffers.

“Any one of them could come down with it now,” a staffer told The Post, referring to the exposed colleagues.

Also upsetting to teachers: They spent two days in the building after the staffer tested positive on Monday. They received notification about the case on Wednesday evening.

A DOE spokeswoman would not explain the notification timing, saying only: “Because of our aggressive health and safety protocols, we immediately moved to isolate that staff member, identify close contacts, and ensure they are quarantining.”

With others working remotely at QIRT because of medical accommodations, only five or six teachers remain at the small school, one of four in the Far Rockaway Educational Complex.

But they were ordered to keep showing up.

“So, there’s no leadership at the school. The remaining teachers are the only ones going in, and they’re working remotely at their desks,” a staffer told The Post.

“The DOE policy is going to cause some people to die.”

Officials would not explain why teachers are required to work in the buildings when no students are attending — a policy that has generated widespread anger.

At JHS 131 Albert Einstein in the Bronx, the principal informed the faculty about a COVID-19 case.  “Someone in the building has tested positive, but the DOE has cleared everyone to go in today.”

The principal and three assistant principals who had shown up since Sept. 8 attended a Zoom meeting from home, a teacher said.  It was unknown whether they were quarantined.

“If you don’t feel safe as an administrator, how can you make everyone else come to school? That doesn’t make sense to me,” the teacher said.

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