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Here's how NYC Schools are taking action against the coronavirus

Written by
Danielle Valente

UPDATE: As of March 15, the New York City Department of Education announced the closure of all public schools. Learn more here

UPDATE: As of March 13, the New York City Department of Education closed two school buildings and a D75 program, according to Twitter. 

UPDATE: As of March 12, the New York City Department of Education announced that parents and caregivers may choose not to send their children to school. According to an email sent to public school parents on behalf of Chancellor Richard Carranza, all Corona-related absences are excused, including  "families/caregivers who choose to keep students home in an effort to reduce their child’s risk of exposure to COVID-19."

Earlier, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that two public schools, the Laboratory School of Finance and Technology and South Bronx Preparatory: A College Board School, will be closed so that the NYC DOE can disinfect the facilities. The two schools share a building in the Bronx. These are the only NYC public schools closed so far.

UPDATE: As of March 11, the New York City Department of Education announced via Twitter that Parent Teacher Conferences scheduled for Thursday and Friday will take place over the phone or virtually, not in person.

UPDATE: As of March 11, the New York City Department of Education mandated that all school buses must be cleaned and disinfected every Monday and Thursday. The DOE requires that school bus contractors use "an effective anti-viral disinfecting product" registered with the EPA as an anti-COVID-19 pathogen. In other words: The cleaning products must kill the virus. 

UPDATE: As of March 10, all public schools in NYC remain open. In addition, the New York City Department of Education made the following announcements:

• Student absences in the current school year will not impact the applications of current fourth- and fifth- graders to middle school, and current seventh- and eight-graders to high school. 

• All DOE-sponsored international travel for students and staff for the remainder of the school year is canceled including study abroad programs. This includes both NYC students traveling abroad, and NYC families hosting foreign students.

• Other school events will continue as scheduled.

• If a COVID-19 case is confirmed in a school, that school will be closed for a minimum of 24-hours while the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene investigates the facility. 

UPDATE: As of March 8, NYC Schools hired an additional 85 school nurses so that every district school building has a full-time nurse by the end of the week. Additionally, international trips have been cancelled for the remainder of the year.

The coronavirus continues to dominate headlines, and now, seemingly everyone around the world is forced to acknowledge the threat—including New Yorkers. 

The New York City Department of Education has revealed the steps it is taking to keep its 1.1 million students safe during this time.

Here are some of the precautions the DOE is taking, according to

Note this advisory is as of March 4 at 4:20pm, the most recent update available at the time of publication. Information is subject to change.

The DOE also sent out tips Instagram: 

Note that the most up-to-date information will be available online at At this time—March 4—there haven't been any plans to close NYC public schools. Keep an eye out online for any changes. Learn more about the MTA's plans to disinfect subways and buses at Time Out New York 

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