PS 149. Photo: Creative Commons

Two Mott Haven schools reopen following negative COVID-19 test

Two Mott Haven public schools that closed Thursday following a report that a student had tested positive for the coronavirus reopened Friday after city health officials determined the student had tested negative for the virus and after the school was cleaned and disinfected.

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced in a tweet Thursday evening that The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology and South Bronx Preparatory would reopen after a 24-hour closure and follow a normal schedule.

“The city conducted an investigation that determined there is no positive test for COVID-19 that impacts the two co-located Bronx schools.  We disinfected the building out of an abundance of caution,” his tweet said.

The two schools, which occupy the same building at 360 E. 145th St. and serve 1,300 students in grades 6-12, were the first in the city to be closed, at least temporarily, after a parent reported her child had tested positive for the virus.

Students at the schools were told they could pick up lunch at the main entrance to the co-located schools during its one-day closure.

In announcing the closure, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement, “We are taking every precaution to keep people safe, and we will keep everyone informed as we learn more through the day.”

The mayor said at a news conference Thursday that he wants to avoid any widespread or long-term closures, but that events would dictate what would happen in coming days.

“Where would our children go?  And if our children have nowhere to go, then their parents can’t go to work, and that includes a lot of parents we depend on, first responders, health care professionals.  It’s a very slippery slope,” said de Blasio.

Several school activities, such as athletic games and practices, PTA meetings, plays and recitals, will be moved online or cancelled if conditions worsen, the mayor said Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of New York has announced that Catholic schools operated by the Archdiocese will close starting Monday, March 16, for two weeks.