16 THE QUEENS COURIER • DECEMBER 3, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
The ever-changing pandemic
We’ve been fi ghting COVID-19 in
America for nearly a year now, and we
still do not fully appreciate just how fl uid
the situation is.
Our standards and policies have shift ed
around numerous times as we dealt with
infections and fi gured out what worked
and what didn’t work when it comes to
battling infections. In many cases, we
didn’t fi gure out the right approach to one
aspect of COVID-19 until it was too late.
Th e de Blasio Administration’s school
reopening plan, developed in the summer,
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JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS
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Story: Queens College ranks eighth among top 10
schools nationwide in moving low-income students
from poverty to prosperity
Summary: Queens College has been ranked eighth
nationwide by CollegeNET for how eff ectively it
enrolls students from low-income backgrounds and
graduates them into well-paying jobs.
Reach: 3,666 (as of 11/30/20)
used the best information available at
the time to develop a “blended model” for
bringing students back to school, accompanied
with criteria to ensure the safe and
orderly closure of school buildings in the
event the city crossed 3 percent COVID-
19 positivity over a seven-day period.
But things changed rapidly in two
months thanks to the development of
rapid testing, and an improved ability to
pinpoint block-by-block where COVID-
19 cases have spiked.
Testing of in-person classes also
revealed low infection rates and spread in
Th at trend bucked fears that the virus
would spread more easily among children;
it turns out that’s not necessarily the
case, at this point.
Aft er the city crossed the 3 percent
threshold on Nov. 18, Mayor Bill de Blasio
moved to close the schools. But that led to
protestations from parents who suggested
that the schools were safer than fi rst
predicted, and that not every New York
City neighborhood had spikes in cases
that would have otherwise necessitated a
On Sunday, the mayor changed the plan
— clearing the way for public elementary
schools to reopen as of Dec. 7, but with
stricter guidelines for testing.
It was the right call by the mayor, just
as it was to initially close school buildings
back on Nov. 18. And that’s only because
our knowledge of COVID-19 and our
ability to track it has dramatically changed
in just three months.
Let’s remember where we are — in
the middle of a pandemic, fi ghting a
virus we’re still learning about. Day by
day, week by week, our knowledge will
change — and when it does, so will public
It’s not because our experts are fl awed
or stupid, or overhyping the threat. It’s
because they’re still trying to fi gure it out
— and it takes time and research to do so.
Have faith, be patient and follow their
Photo by Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Offi ce
Mayor de Blasio made the right call to change his plan for public schools.