Mount Vernon students return to classroom for in-person instruction

Mount Vernon students returned to the classroom Tuesday for the first time in four weeks.
The district was one of the first in Westchester to go remote back in December and one of the last to return to in-person after the winter break.
Over the past two weeks, students and staff underwent two rounds of COVID testing.
Twenty-five percent of about 5,000 people tested were positive in the first round, but last week's testing showed numbers down to just 10%.
"We received a lot of criticism of closing when we did, and I think it proved to be very wise in retrospect because we do have a much better handle on our cases now," says Dr. Kenneth Hamilton, of the Mount Vernon City School District.
Moving forward, the district is implementing weekly testing of 20% of students and staff.
Mount Vernon is also following new quarantine guidance.
Staff and students who test positive for COVID will now only quarantine for five days and can return to class if they are fever-free for 24 hours and symptoms have largely resolved.
Officials are encouraging parents to sign consent forms for their children to participate.