COVID-19: NY closes schools again

COVID-19: NY closes schools again

New York City is shuttering schools to try to stop the renewed spread of the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday in a painful about-face for one of the first big us school systems to bring students back to classrooms this fall.

Although the city has yet to be designated as an orange zone, the mayor and school chancellor announced Wednesday that schools would close in-person learning and shift to all-remote beginning Thursday because the city's metrics showed a 3.00% positivity rate in the seven-day average. And as a result, we do need to close our schools for the coming days. "We need to have tight restrictions", he said.

And I want to emphasize to parents, to educators, to staff, to kids, that we intend to come back, and come back as quickly as possible. Within the past week, the Clark County School District, which includes Las Vegas and is the fifth largest in the United States, and Philadelphia's public school system both postponed plans to return to in-person instruction. "We will likely see additional restrictions across the board in New York City".

Parts of western NY that have been under the least onerous "yellow zone" restrictions are now under more restrictive "orange zone" restrictions, in which schools go remote and "high-risk" businesses such as gyms are closed, Cuomo said.

Nearly 13,000 New Yorkers have signed a petition entitled "Keep NYC Schools Open" that campaigners and kids delivered to city hall and state Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday. But the decision to close schools was based on community spread of the virus. "We must fight back the second wave of COVID-19".

He added that "please note that this is a temporary closure, and school buildings will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so".

Schools within the system will now move classes online - no less 300,000 children are expected to be affected.

New York City is the largest school district in the United States, with 1.1 million students.

As of midweek, more than 2,300 public school students or staffers had tested positive since the start of the school year. Since the 3% rate has been reached, education will continue but all students will be learning remotely. Officials are working to distribute more devices, relying on paper learning packets in the interim.

"That's because New Yorkers have done a phenomenal job", Cuomo said. "Our children can not afford to lose a year of education and growth".

Reshma Saujani tells "The Daily Briefing" we are going to "lose a generation" because we aren't able to keep schools open amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But the union representing New York City teachers-which had raised concerns about whether school conditions would be safe for employees, who face greater health risks depending on their age and underlying conditions-supported Wednesday's decision.

The state's seven-day average for New York City has been on an uninterrupted upward trend for the last month, rising from 1.1% on October 18, hitting 1.5% on November 1 and crossing the 2% threshold on November 10, data obtained by The Post shows.

The governor pointed out that, while New York's percent positivity rate is at 2.88%, it is among the lowest in the USA, only behind Vermont, Hawaii and Maine.

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