New York City schools may be heading for another general closure soon, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Thursday at his COVID-19 briefing with the media.
Officials are already planning to shut down the schools and shift to online learning, he said, but only if the city’s positivity rate (the number of NYC residents testing positively for COVID-19) reaches 3 percent or higher based on a seven-day average, he confirmed.
“This is something that no one wants to see happen; I don’t want to see this happen but there is still a chance to turn things around, obviously,” he told reporters. “But we are preparing for that possibility.”
This past Wednesday (Nov. 11) there were 870 new cases of COVID-19 in New York City, health officials reported: a daily positivity rate of 2.6 percent.
At present, Brooklyn is classified by the state health department as an “orange” zone, having been reduced from a “red zone” earlier this week. That’s the good news.
The bad news is, on Wednesday the state designated the borough of Staten Island as a “yellow zone” with attendant restrictions set to begin on Friday (Nov. 13). Health officials said the majority of the borough’s neighborhoods at this point are above the 3 percent positivity rate, according to the NYC COVID-19 tracker.
According to yellow zone restrictions, public gatherings are capped at 25 people, restaurant tables are capped at 4 guests, and schools are required to carry out weekly COVID-19 testing of at least 20 percent of all students and staff.
Meanwhile, state-licensed gyms, bars and restaurants are going to have to shut down at 10 pm; restaurants can still offer food for pickup across the entire city. Those who violate the restrictions will be issued a summons by NYPD officers.
“There’s no doubt we have a lot of work to do to restore trust and faith and respect from the community to the police and the police in the community, but there’s also no doubt that we need the NYPD to provide public safety,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at his own daily briefing.
“We have regulations and rules. This is not a contentious activity.”