Public schools will stay open for now

November 17, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Public schools will stay open for now
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With the city below the 3-percent threshold of positive COVID-19 cases, Mayor Bill de Blasio said public schools will remain open.

“We’ve got a fight ahead to keep them open, but I’m not giving up and you shouldn’t give up either,” de Blasio said. “Every day that we can keep our schools open is a blessing for our children and our families. So, we set the 3-percent standard, and that was part of how we were able to open our schools to begin with.”

De Blasio said the city would hold to the 3-percent threshold and that health and safety were the top priorities.

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Over the weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo hinted he disagreed with the 3-percent number.

“I understand that we’re near 3-percent in New York City,” Cuomo said. “Now, remember, 3 percent is a relatively low number. Just in context, New Jersey is at over 6. Connecticut is close to 5; Pennsylvania is 9. Three is relatively low number. What I would suggest for the parents of New York City and the teachers of New York City and the mayor and the leaders of New York City: I would consider adding a factor of the positivity in the schools themselves.”

Cuomo added that schools are testing students at a high rate.

“If the school is not spreading the virus or if the school has a much lower positivity rate than the surrounding area, then the school is not part of the problem and you could argue that keeping the children in the school is part of the solution rather than the children spending time on the street in the neighborhood where the infection rate is higher,” he said.

De Blasio said he and Cuomo have spoken about additional testing measures.

“It is important to recognize that we are dealing with a serious threat of a second wave that has real ramifications for all of us,” he said. “And if we do have to shut down, we would work to come back very quickly with additional safety measures.”

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