Public schools in New York City will shutter on Thursday and switch to fully remote learning for all students due to rising COVID-19 cases in the five boroughs, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.
De Blasio had previously stated that the city would revert to remote learning if the COVID positivity rate of people tested for the virus rose above the 3% threshold over a seven-day average.
The city met that threshold Wednesday, the same day the U.S. surpassed 250,000 total coronavirus-related deaths.
De Blasio warned parents on Friday that they should prepare for another school shutdown, likely to last through the end of November.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who sparred with de Blasio last spring over COVID-related closures, affirmed that the mayor was within his rights to close the city's school.
Gov. Cuomo, however, added that schools appear to have relatively low transmission rates for the virus. He has suggested that the city should make closure decisions based on positivity rates at individual schools.
De Blasio did not put a date on when schools might reopen for in-person learning. He had previously said that the city is working on a plan to allow for a safe reopening, but the it remained unclear what those benchmarks are.
Classrooms will not automatically reopen if the seven-day average positivity rate dips back below 3%.
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