April 14, 2020 By Christian Murray
Fifty employees with the Department of Education have died from COVID-19, the agency announced Monday.
City officials said that 48 of the deceased were school-based employees—consisting of 21 teachers, 22 paraprofessionals and other workers. The DOE, which has been criticized for the delay in releasing the data, also said that two central office workers died.
The numbers represent the employees who died as a result of the virus through April 10. The DOE said it would be updating the numbers weekly.
“This is painful news for too many of our communities,” said New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza in a statement. “We will be there to support our students and staff in any way they need, including remote crisis and grief counseling each day.”
The school system shut down on March 16 after the mayor was subject to enormous pressure to close them for more than a week. Ultimately, Governor Andrew Cuomo and de Blasio made the call to shut them.
De Blasio said Saturday that the school system will remain closed for the school year, although Cuomo has yet to make an announcement. Cuomo says he has the ultimate say—leading to confusion.
De Blasio mourned the passing of the DOE workers yesterday.
“This is about people who are beloved in their school communities and have done so much good and now they are gone,” the mayor said.