(CNN) — Fifty New York City Department of Education employees have died in connection to coronavirus, 21 of whom were teachers, according to the DOE.
“This is painful news for too many of our communities — each number represents a life, a member of one our schools or offices, and the pain their loved ones are experiencing is unimaginable,” New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said in a statement.
New York has been a focal point for the coronavirus pandemic in the US, and the city has been hit especially hard. New York City has reported more than 106,000 coronavirus cases and 6,182 deaths, according to the city’s website.
The deaths of the DOE employees were reported by their families.
They have not been confirmed as related to coronavirus by the Department of Health because the DOH is no longer confirming individual cases due to community transmission, according to DOE spokeswoman Miranda Barbot.
In addition to the loss of teachers, the DOE reported the deaths of 22 paraprofessionals, two administrators, a facilities staffer, a guidance counselor, a food service staffer and two central office employees.
“We will be there to support our students and staff in any way they need, including remote crisis and grief counseling each day. We mourn these losses and will not forget the impact each person had on our DOE family,” Carranza said.
The city’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have been at odds over when the city’s public schools will open.
De Blasio said Saturday that the city’s public school buildings will stay closed for the rest of the academic year. Students will continue to receive remote instruction, according to the city Department of Education.
But Cuomo said no such decision has been made yet, and when one is it will be coordinated with other areas in the state.