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Statement from Assemblymember Reilly following Mayor de Blasio’s comments about new guidelines that prohibit COVID-19 testing consent as a pre-requisite for in-person learning

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 17, 2021
CONTACT: Peter Giunta, 347.621.8031

The following statement is from Assemblymember Michael Reilly (R-Staten Island) regarding yesterday’s updated guidance from state education officials which states that COVID-19 testing consent cannot be used as a pre-requisite for in-person learning…

“Today, as expected, Mayor de Blasio stated that he intends to sidestep the updated guidance issued by the New York State Education Department yesterday, choosing, instead, to continue ahead with a plan that provides a false sense of safety.

Under the current plan — agreed upon by the Mayor and United Federation of Teachers — students are tested for COVID-19 and then sent back to the classroom, where they are among staff and other students.  By the time their results are available, usually within a few days, everyone in the classroom had already been exposed.  

Since the start of the school year, I have advocated that families should be given the option to have their children tested at a healthcare facility of their choosing prior to their next in-person learning session.  Unfortunately, the city Department of Education has continuously rejected that reasonable request and instead chooses to pay a third party company for this false sense of safety.

I urge Commissioner Rosa and her colleagues at the State Education Department to reject the city’s request for exemption. There is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to comply with this reasonable guidance.”

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