The city’s education department is taking an inventory of school trips as concern about the spread of the coronavirus grows, officials announced Thursday.

The global spread of the virus coincided with a week-long school vacation, Feb. 17-21, during which some students and school employees traveled out of the country. Tracking down those who were abroad could take some time, given the school system’s size.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said one teacher had tested negative for the virus after traveling to Italy as part of a school trip with James Madison High School in Brooklyn. More than 40 students took part in the trip, along with six other school staffers. None of the students from Madison have shown symptoms, the mayor said, and therefore have not been asked to stay home.

Two other teachers who traveled to Italy on vacation are awaiting the results of testing and are not currently in school. One educator returned to her classroom for several days after a trip before showing any symptoms. The mayor said the city would follow up with those schools if needed once the results are known.

It’s unclear how many school-organized trips to affected countries — which include China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran — have taken place since the coronavirus outbreak. But James Madison is not alone. Brooklyn’s Edward R. Murrow High School also organized a trip to Italy during the February break, according to students and staff there, some of whom shared concerns that those on the trip were not asked to stay home.

The Article was originally published on NYC schools scramble to track student and teacher travel amid coronavirus threat

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