Reopening schools will be Eric Adams’s first big task as New York mayor.

Perhaps the most pressing question for New York City’s incoming mayor, Eric Adams, is exactly how the nearly one million children and roughly 75,000 teachers will return on Jan. 3 for the start of the spring semester — just two days after Mr. Adams will be sworn in.

Children and staff members are set to head back to 1,600 schools across the city against the backdrop of a dramatic rise in virus cases driven by the Omicron variant, a surge that city officials have said will almost certainly worsen over the next few weeks.

Mr. Adams has said he does not support large-scale shutdowns. “We can’t close down the city anytime a new variant comes up,” he said this week. He has also said that he would support a vaccine mandate for eligible students.

A spokesman for Mr. Adams declined to comment on his specific plans for schools, citing continuing discussions with his team. But Mr. Adams and the incoming schools chancellor, David C. Banks, are weighing a variety of options.

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