New York City will close schools for in-person learning to curb Covid outbreak, Mayor de Blasio says

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio stands at P.S. 188 as he welcomes elementary school students back to the city’s public schools for in-person learning on September 29, 2020 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images

New York City’s schools will move to remote learning only as the city tries to tamp down a growing number of coronavirus cases, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in a Tweet on Wednesday.

The shuttering of the nation’s largest school system had been anticipated for days after de Blasio told parents on Friday to have a plan in place in case the city decides to close schools for in-person learning, NBC News New York reported.

“We’re in the middle of something really tough right now,” de Blasio said at a press briefing Monday. “We have put health and safety first, and we will put health and safety first.”

The mayor said the city would close classrooms if the citywide positivity rate, or the percentage of positive tests, hits an average of 3%. On a call with reporters Friday afternoon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the city has the authority to close schools if local officials think it’s appropriate.

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