NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — There were 83 COVID-19 cases reported in New York City schools on the first day of classes Monday.
Thirty-three were among students and 50 were among teachers, according to data posted to the city's Department of Education website.
The positive cases resulted in the closure of 80 classrooms.
Attendance was just over 80%, compared to 90% in 2019 prior to the pandemic.
Monday marked the first day of class for about 1 million public school students with a full return to in-person learning.
"Our kids need to be in school and it’s unbelievable that some kids haven’t seen the inside of a classroom for a year and a half," Mayor Bill de Blasio said last week. "There are massive consequences to that, including health care consequences. The healthiest, best place for kids to be is in school."
Remote learning will only be available to those students who must quarantine due to COVID exposure.
Under the school system's coronavirus protocols, if there is a positive case in an elementary school classroom, students in the class will receive remote instruction while quarantining for 10 days. In middle schools and high schools, only unvaccinated students will quarantine.
On Monday night in Foley Square, hundreds gathered at a protest organized by Teachers for Choice, a group of city teachers and parents opposed to de Blasio’s vaccine mandate.
Chanting “we will not comply” and “save New York,” teachers and civil servants eventually marched over the Brooklyn Bridge, blocking traffic.
Teachers and staff have until Sept. 27 to get their first shot.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.