New York public schools to close due to coronavirus surge

    Mayor Bill De Blasio said 'this is a temporary situation.'

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    New York City has hit a 3.0 percent coronavirus test positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average, which means schools will have to shutter.

    On Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the New York City public school system will shut down in-person learning for the second time on Thursday, The New York Times reports.

    Mayor de Blasio, looking disappointed as he delivered the message at a press conference, said the shut down was neccessary as safety is a priority.

    “Today is a tough day, but this is a temporary situation,” he said.

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    “We all, in fact, are feeling very sad about this decision because so much good work has been put into keeping the schools opened — and opening them up to begin with, let’s start there, opening the schools when almost no other major school system in America opened, making them so safe,” the mayor added. “But we set a very clear standard. And we need to stick to that standard. And I want to emphasize to parents, to educators, to staff, to kids, that we intend to come back and come back as quickly as possible.”

    When the average was around 1 percent or below, the mayor assigned a 3 percent positivity rate minimum during the summer. de Blasio’s public health team and city officials agreed on the terms, believing their preventive measure would set a global standard.

    Students within the city who opted to attend classroom learning were set to restart between Nov. 30 and Dec. 7, but they will now have to wait several weeks to return to school buildings, according to The Times report.

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    The lack of in-person learning means many NYC students — the vast majority of whom are low-income, Black or Latino, and some are homeless — will not receive an equal education.

    Last Thursday, City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said many of the 60,000 students have not received the iPads or laptops that they requested from the city because of a national shortage of devices, and students with adaquate devices lack sufficient internet access.

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