As NYC's total Covid-19 cases skyrocket past 105,000 - the The New York City Department of Education (DOE) has released an alarming figure, saying that over 50 of its school employees have died in connection to coronavirus.
This includes 21 teachers, according to the DOE, with others being administrators and various school support staff. A 36-year old principal named Dez-Ann Romain at a Brooklyn high school was the first New York City Public Schools employee to die last month after contracting Covid-19.
"This is painful news for too many of our communities — each number represents a life, a member of one our schools or offices, and the pain their loved ones are experiencing is unimaginable," New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said in a statement, per CNN.
"We will be there to support our students and staff in any way they need, including remote crisis and grief counseling each day. We mourn these losses and will not forget the impact each person had on our DOE family," Carranza said.
Early in the crisis last month Mayor Bill de Blasio came under fire for not closing the city's schools fast enough. He argued that underprivileged students could not go without school-provided meals and needed the safe confines of the classroom. The mayor finally ordered the city's schools to temporarily shut on the weekend of March 14.
And this past weekend he ordered all public school sites closed for the remainder of the year. This impacts some 1.1 million-students in the New York City district. Recently de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have publicly been at odds over the question of potential school re-openings.
Likely the growing loss of school staff due to the pandemic was a strong factor in the mayor declaring schools going to 'online only' instruction for the remainder of the year.
"In addition to the loss of teachers, the DOE reported the deaths of 22 paraprofessionals, two administrators, a facilities staffer, a guidance counselor, a food service staffer and two central office employees," CNN reports of the latest tragic DOE announcement.