New York Daily News

Blaz to parents of students — Don’t be afraid


Mayor de Blasio on Monday shrugged off concerns from parents scared about letting their kids return to school in person as coronaviru­s cases keep ticking up in the city.

Speaking at City Hall as students streamed into classrooms across the five boroughs for the first day of school, de Blasio said he’s sympatheti­c to nervous parents, but expressed confidence that a resumption of in-person learning is “the best way to help your children.”

“I understand fear. Let’s not be governed by fear,” de Blasio said. “All the people who know all the facts are saying to parents consistent­ly — from the president on down — get your kids back to school, and I’m appealing to all parents right now: Work past the fear, help your kids move forward, help your kids be safe and healthy.”

De Blasio’s plea comes amid reports that some parents in the city are opting to homeschool their kids instead of allowing them back into classrooms.

The concern is centered around the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19, which is driving a resurgence of infections in New York and beyond.

But the mayor noted that it’s exceedingl­y rare for children to develop symptoms from COVID-19.

He said there’s also a surefire solution for parents who are concerned that their kids could catch COVID-19 in school and spread it to them or other adults in the household.

“We have an easy solution: Get everyone vaccinated,” he said. “It’s available everywhere.”

Roughly 65% of children between 12 and 17 in the city are vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Health Department data.

De Blasio’s administra­tion is seeking to jack up that rate by hosting popup vaccinatio­n sites at all public schools in the city this week. But the mayor has refrained from outright mandating vaccinatio­ns for eligible schoolkids, saying last week that he doesn’t believe “that’s the right thing to do.”

Teachers and school staff, on the other hand, will be required to show proof of coronaviru­s vaccinatio­n by Sept. 27 or risk losing their jobs. That makes them the only category of city workers who currently do not have the option of submitting to weekly COVID-19 tests as an alternativ­e to getting vaccinated.

De Blasio suggested Monday that he could soon impose the same mandate for all city workers.

“I’m always ready to climb the ladder,” he said.

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