New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio greets children at P.S. 188 The Island School in New York City on September 29, 2020. De Blasio said Monday all public schools will return to full classes in September. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
May 24 (UPI) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that all public city schools will reopen in the fall -- and there will be no option to attend remotely.
De Blasio said COVID-19 cases have been declining in the city and "vaccinations are working."
"That means welcoming all our students and staff back to school buildings," he tweeted.
"We're beating back COVID, and our city is coming back strong."
"You can't have a full recovery without full-strength schools and having everyone sitting in those classrooms," he told MSNBC. "That's what we're going to have in September."
The first day for fall classes in New York City is scheduled for Sept. 13. De Blasio said the present strategy of remote learning, masks and distancing has driven down case numbers citywide. He also said schools are now the safest places in the city.
The United Federation of Teachers has told teachers that any medical accommodations for the current school year will expire on June 30.
"With vaccines now available, we do not anticipate that the [Department of Education] will grant blanket accommodations for high-risk populations as it did this school year in response to the COVID-19 crisis," the union said, according to WABC-TV.
National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo