Coronavirus Testing In New York City Schools Yield Not-So-Surprising Results

AP Photo/John Minchillo
AP featured image
Students arrive for in-person classes outside Public School 188 The Island School, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in the Manhattan borough of New York. Hundreds of thousands of elementary school students are heading back to classrooms starting Tuesday as New York City enters a high-stakes phase of resuming in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)


New York City reopened its schools three weeks ago and found extremely low rates of coronavirus infections among students. This finding flies in the face of fearmongers trying to scare people into keeping schools closed despite the pernicious impact on education. 

While many on the left contend that reopening schools would place children in danger, the data shows something much different. According to the New York Times, “nearly three weeks into the in-person school year, early data from the city’s first effort at targeted testing has shown the opposite: a surprisingly small number of positive cases.” 

The city has tested 15,111 staff members and students for the coronavirus. So far, they have gotten back results for 10,676. Out of this number, only 18 people, including 13 staff members and five students, tested positive for the virus. 

New York was the first major city to open its public schools for in-person classes. Half of its students are attending only in-person classes for some of the week. “That data is encouraging,” said Paula White, executive director of Educators for Excellence. “It reinforces what we have heard about schools not being super spreaders.”


The Times noted that “The absence of early outbreaks, if it holds, suggests that the city’s efforts for its 1.1 million public school students could serve as an influential model for school districts across the nation.” 

Of course, some have criticized the program, arguing that the level of testing is not high enough. “It’s great that New York City is doing some level of random testing,” Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, explained. “It’s not at the level that would be ideal.”

The teachers union president, Michael Mulgrew, stated that the city’s officials are considering the possibility of increasing testing to three times a month. He indicated that this would be “much more valuable” in detecting outbreaks. 

These results are encouraging but should not be surprising. Earlier this month, The Atlantic published a data-driven piece that showed that schools are not super-spreaders of the virus, contrary to what progressives are asserting. The author revealed that the reopening of schools has not resulted in the dire spread of the disease as Democrats and corporate media outlets have predicted. 

From The Atlantic:

“Our data on almost 200,000 kids in 47 states from the last two weeks of September revealed an infection rate of 0.13 percent among students and 0.24 percent among staff. That’s about 1.3 infections over two weeks in a school of 1,000 kids, or 2.2 infections over two weeks in a group of 1,000 staff. Even in high-risk areas of the country, the student rates were well under half a percent.”


Unfortunately, the “shut it down” crowd is still engaging in their usual fear tactics to scare parents into keeping their kids at home. But the fact that New York City, which was ground zero for the pandemic in America, seems to be having positive results indicates that schools in other cities could begin opening their doors in the near future. 


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