The coronavirus has come to PS 306 in Woodhaven.
The office of Mayor de Blasio confirmed that a safety officer at the school, located at 95-16 89 Ave., tested positive on March 15 for COVID-19.
As a result, the entire facility is undergoing a deep cleaning although the officer, whom for reasons of privacy the city did not name, has not been at the school since March 6.
Jane Meyer, a spokesperson for the mayor, released a statement early Sunday afternoon stating that, “The health and safety of our students and school staff is our number one priority. The individual in question has not been in school for over a week, and this school is being deep cleaned today. We expect it to be open tomorrow.”
On the heels of that release, City Hall was bombarded with requests for the mayor to close down the entire public school system.
Many elected officials immediately took to Twitter including Queens borough presidential candidates Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), Elizabeth Crowley and Costas Constantinides (D-Astoria), who all urged the mayor to make the decision to close.
The principal of PS 306, the Academy of Discovery, sent a letter home to parents one week ago stating that a sick employee had been sent home as a precaution. It wasn’t until Sunday morning that parents found out via the school’s messaging app that the agent had tested positive for the virus.
It was Sunday afternoon when the mayor gave in to pressure and ordered all city public schools closed.
De Blasio signed a further executive order limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to food takeout and delivery. Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses and concert venues all had to close by midnight on March 16.
The city will move toward a remote learning model for all school days until spring recess.
Students will not report to school buildings for instruction until Monday, April 20, or longer if necessary.
“As we learn more about COVID-19 every day, we are keeping every possible option on the table to keep New Yorkers safe. That’s why we are asking the people of our City to make hard choices as we introduce more restrictive measures to create greater social distancing including the temporary closure of our school buildings,” said de Blasio. “We all need to change our lives, in ways both big and small, to keep each other safe.”