With NYC teachers getting vaccinated soon, when will schools return to normal?

By: | January 14, 2021

While teachers across New York City raced to sign up for coronavirus vaccines this week, it could be many months before schools are able to ramp up in-person instruction significantly, public health experts said.

Many variables remain in play: how quickly teachers get shots, whether studies show that vaccinated people can still spread the virus, and what it will take to contain a new, potentially more contagious coronavirus variant, which has now been found locally. How fast parents will feel comfortable sending their children back to school buildings also remains unclear.

For now, only school buildings that include grades pre-K-5, or serve students with significant disabilities, are open. At most, 190,000 out of roughly 1 million students are eligible for in-person instruction, with about 250 schools offering it to all students five days a week. Mayor Bill de Blasio has hinted the vaccine could help clear the way for more in-person learning this spring and allow middle and high school buildings to reopen.

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