PATERSON, NJ  – While, they say, they have taken an “aggressive” stance against the spread of COVID-19, coronavirus, including through a communications campaign launched prior to any cases in the US, the establishment of an information call center, and submitting plans to continue instruction  while forumlating one for food distribution should closure become necessary, Paterson Public Schools officials have, to date, chosen not to shutter local classrooms.

The Paterson Education Association (P.E.A), the union that represents more than 3,000 education professionals across the city, is now urging the New Jersey Department of Education who still oversees the city’s public schools, for that step to be taken.

“I believe that now is the time to close our schools to protect the health of our students, staff, and community,” John McEntee, the union’s president told TAPinto Paterson. “The Paterson Education Association calls on the New Jersey Department of Education and State Health Officials to cease regular operations of the school district.”

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Citing new cases of the virus being uncovered across the state, guidance issued by the CDC, and Governor Phil Murphy's recommendation to ban all gatherings larger than 250 people, McEntee added that it is their “unwavering position” that “extraordinary precautions” to prevent the spread locally be taken immediately.

"Nothing is more important than the safety of our students, our staff members, and the Paterson community. The only way to keep our community safe is for the Department of Education and the Department of Health to act now.”

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