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East Harlem public school closed after COVID-19 outbreak

After being open only a week, a city public school in East Harlem will cancel in-person classes after a COVID-19 outbreak among staffers.

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Nineteen people tested positive as of Friday at P.S. 79 on East 120th Street, prompting officials to switch over to remote education, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewery tweeted.

“My understanding is there are enough cases of COVID that the [Department of Education COVID-19] Situation Room has decided to close the school for 10 days until Sept. 28,” Brewer told The Post.

In addition to 19 “confirmed” cases, 45 others were quarantined, the City Council’s education chair, Mark Treyger, added.

The DOE said all of the cases were among staff.

The entrance to Horan School at 55 E 120 St. in East Harlem.
Robert Miller
A student walks to school on the first day of New York City
The Department of Education says all the positive COVID-19 cases came from staff members.
The entrance to Horan School at 55 E 120 St. in East Harlem.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewery announced Horan School will immediately switch to remote learning.
Robert Miller
A student walks to school on the first day of New York City schools, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. September 13, 2021.
A COVID-19 outbreak occurred at the Horan School despite Gov. Kathy Hochul’s school mask mandate for all students and staff members.
The exterior of P.S. 79 in East Harlem, NY.
The school currently has a confirmed 19 COVID-19 cases.
Google Maps

“The health and safety of our school communities is our top priority, and we do not hesitate to intervene to stop the spread. We follow stringent guidance from health experts to prevent any further transmission by quarantining close contacts, closing classrooms, and, if necessary, entire buildings. Learning will continue during quarantine and we will provide the school resources and support to have a successful school year,” DOE rep Nathaniel Styer said in a statement.

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P.S. 79 is part of District 75, which provides specialized services to students with disabilities.

“Mask wearing has been a challenge for students, particularly those with sensory issues,” Brewer said in another tweet.

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