New York City officials announced on Wednesday that they are shutting down the city’s entire public school system tomorrow amid a large coronavirus outbreak in the city.
Chancellor Richard A. Carranza wrote in an email to principals: “As of this morning, November 18, the City has now reached this threshold of test positivity citywide and, as a result, the DOE will temporarily close down all public school buildings for in-person learning, Thursday, November 19.”
“New York City has reached the 3% testing positivity 7-day average threshold. Unfortunately, this means public school buildings will be closed as of tomorrow, Thursday Nov. 19, out an abundance of caution,” New York City Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote in a tweet. “We must fight back the second wave of COVID-19.”
The shut down was perhaps the biggest pandemic-related update for the city since its poor handling of the pandemic in the Spring made it one of the major global hotspots.
“It was also a major disappointment for Mr. Blasio, who was the first big-city mayor in the country to reopen school buildings,” The New York Times reported. “Moving to all-remote instruction will disrupt the education of many of the roughly 300,000 children who have been attending in-person classes and create major child care problems for parents who count on their children being at school for at least part of the week.”
New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo — who recently went around promoting his book about how he allegedly did a good job handling the coronavirus pandemic — said on Wednesday that his state has once again seen an “astronomical” surge in cases. The Free Beacon reported that since the release of his book, more than 640 New Yorkers have died from the coronavirus.
Cuomo is also set to get a $25,000 pay raise while over a million New Yorkers are out of work, which is nearly double the national average, and his state has a $63 billion budget deficit.
Cuomo implemented an order late last week effectively banning large holiday parties, which received prompt pushback from law enforcement officials.
The New York Times reported:
Hours before New York State’s order limiting private gatherings took effect on Friday, effectively barring large holiday parties, an upstate sheriff said that he would not enforce it. His office, he said, would never interfere with “the great tradition of Thanksgiving dinner.”
Days later, a sheriff in the Southern Tier region vowed that his deputies would not go “peeking in your window” to count the faces around a table. A third New York sheriff said that entering residents’ homes “to see how many Turkey or Tofu eaters are present is not a priority.”
Even as the daily numbers of new coronavirus cases climb and threaten the state’s progress toward tamping down the spread of infection, a growing number of local sheriffs and other officials say they will not enforce the state’s 10-person cap on gatherings at family homes.
Officials in New York City also reportedly indicated that they did not plan on strict enforcement of the measure.
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