New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that all public schools in the city will have to close due to the worsening pandemic of the new coronavirus. The measure starts to take effect as of tomorrow in the city, which was already considered the epicenter of covid-19 contamination in the United States in the first half.
According to De Blasio, the measure was taken because New York needs to “fight the second wave” of the disease. About 300,000 students will be affected according to The New York Times. In total, the city’s public education system has more than 1 million students enrolled.
“New York City has reached the average seven-day limit of 3% test positivity,” explained the mayor in a Twitter post, referring to the limit percentage the city has set for new covid-19 diagnoses among people tested. For a week, this index has remained above 3%.
New York City has reached the 3% testing positivity 7-day average threshold. Unfortunately, this means public school buildings will be closed as of tomorrow, Thursday Nov. 19, out an abundance of caution.We must fight back the second wave of COVID-19.
– Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 18, 2020
“Unfortunately, this means that public school buildings will be closed from tomorrow, Thursday, November 19, very cautiously,” added De Blasio.
Schools sent letters to students’ parents this afternoon about the measure. In addition to the 300,000 students who will be affected, it is estimated that around 700,000 are already adopting remote education full-time, and therefore will not have changes with the measure.
Last week, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo had already announced new measures to try to control the increase in contamination in the region. Since last Friday (13), bars, restaurants and gyms have to close at 22h. In addition, Cuomo said that private meetings with more than ten people are prohibited.