An apparent outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Queens has forced one local elementary school to switch to all-remote learning for the time being.
P.S. 166 began its 10-day classroom closure on Wednesday morning, after 19 students and three staff members tested positive for the virus. In total, the school has confirmed 34 cases of the virus this school year.
The temporary closure comes just as the city began ramping up efforts to get children ages 5 to 11 vaccinated.
P.S. 166 is the second public school this academic year to switch to all-remote learning due to local COVID concerns. It is the first full school closure since September. The city's vaccination mandate for Department of Education employees went into effect in early-October.
A Department of Education spokesperson underscored that NYC schools have been the "gold standard for health and safety" for schools during the pandemic "with all school staff vaccinated, and an incredibly low positivity rate of 0.19 percent."
A vaccination drive at P.S. 166 that was scheduled to begin Wednesday will be rescheduled for when students there return to class on November 22.
Later Wednesday, the New York City Council was expected to vote on a transparency bill that would require the Department of Education to report exact numbers of school attendance, vaccination, testing consent and quarantine data.