The authorities affirm that it is a “temporary” measure that seeks to stop the infections. Classes will be virtual until further notice. Complaints from parents.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared Wednesday that the city, which has the largest educational district in the United States, will close its schools as of Thursday for “precaution” due to the increase in cases of COVID-19 and assured that they will not reopen until after the Thanksgiving holiday, which is celebrated next Thursday, November 26.
De Blasio wrote on his Twitter account that the Big Apple has reached a 3% positivity In a seven-day proration, the “limit” established to reverse the hybrid opening of schools, so that schools “they will be closed tomorrow” (for this Thursday).
“We must fight against the second wave of COVID-19,” the mayor added in a succinct message after a five-hour delay for his daily press conference, which he blamed on conversations with the state administration to ensure that the 3% figure exact it was “100% correct”.
The director of the New York public education system, Richard Carranza, reported in his account and later in a press conference that classes “will continue from remotely until further notice “and that students who attended part of the week at the centers will have to make a” transition. “
“The mayor and I have been clear from the beginning that we needed to get students to classrooms as soon as it was safe. And we carry the same urgency today by announcing this temporary closure: we will bring students to buildings as soon as we can safely, “Carranza said.
The head of the local Education portfolio told families that school principals will be in contact with them soon and that the city will offer “device support (the city has commissioned 100,000) and advice on remote teaching.” in addition to free meals for all students.
Last Friday, De Blasio already warned that this week schools could be closed if the positivity index continued to increase and asked parents to prepare to face this eventuality.
The New York City public educational system welcomes more than one million students, of which approximately one third were enrolled in the hybrid program, combining face-to-face attendance several days a week with virtual classes.
In his press conference, the mayor said that the “temporary” closure of schools will be extended until after the American holiday Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 26) and assured that in the next two days he will offer a plan to reopen the centers.
The announcement of the closure of the schools came as the State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, ended a press conference in which he recalled that if the city reached that 3% positivity limit, it would fall into the category of “orange zone”, with greater restrictions on mobility in general.
Across the state, schools in the “orange zone” can reopen if they are closed for at least four days, they are thoroughly disinfected and the community is tested as it returns to the centers, but for New York City, given its size, a “different formula” would be needed, Cuomo said.
However, the city and the State use different metrics depending on the date of COVID-19 testing and the arrival date of the results, and according to the latter administration, the city rate prorated in the last 7 days is below 3%, which has generated some confusion.
De Blasio considered that the city will enter the “orange zone” when the State requires it, since it is part of its own strategy and its metrics, for which he anticipated that “restrictions are coming, and they’re coming soon”.
Asked about the step back in schools taken by the mayor, Governor Cuomo said that he expected the mayor’s office to close them if it reached the 3% percentage, so he did not consider that his reopening strategy is failing.
“All over the world (the coronavirus) is increasing, every state in the nation. Success depends on How do we do it relative to the rest. We are fourth in the US … after having had the highest infection rate in the US New Yorkers are doing a good job, “Cuomo said.