By Fernanda Martinez
Hundreds of students at PS87 William Sherman, on 78th between Columbus and Amsterdam, were forced into quarantine after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19, leaving parents scrambling to find alternative accommodations.
After the staff member tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday, the UWS school sent at least 10 classes—ranging from Pre-K to 4th grade—into a week-long quarantine, according to a parent and the New York Post.
The children, who must remain inside their homes, are expected to continue attending classes through remote learning.
A concerned parent, who asked to remain anonymous in order to protect their privacy, told the Rag that families “are freaking out,” as at least five days out of school could amount to hundreds of dollars in childcare, not including “the many thousands of dollars we are all losing for afterschool programs this week.”
Moreover, parents are confused as to how the positive result of a single teacher could result in the closure of almost half the school. According to NYCHealth, the UWS has a Covid-19 positivity rate of less than 1%. A new city policy says that students don’t have to quarantine if they’re masked and socially distanced from another student who tests positive for Covid-19. But that rule doesn’t apply to contact with adults who test positive.
On Tuesday, Principal Monica Berry sent an email update to parents. “While there was exposure in multiple classes, there is only one active case of Covid-19 in the building,” she wrote.
A Department of Education rep told the Post “The safety of our students and staff is our first priority, and our quarantine guidance aligns with the CDC’s to keep our schools healthy and our kids in school.”
Principal Berry also explained that the school is following CDC guidelines, which state that anyone within six feet of a Covid-positive adult should quarantine, regardless of mask usage. She also said that the school is working to establish accurate dates of exposure for each quarantined student. She did not respond to multiple attempts to contact her.