NYC Covid Positivity Rate Approaches School Shutdown Threshold
New York City coronavirus tests are coming back positive at the highest rate since June and approaching the threshold that would trigger a citywide shutdown of in-class schooling.
City officials said Wednesday that the seven-day average of people testing positive for Covid-19 has climbed from 2.52 percent from 1.94 percent a week ago. The city has set a three percent positivity rate as the threshold that would force a citywide shutdown of the schools.
Another school shutdown would deal an economic blow to the city still reeling from the spring’s lockdown and social distancing rules that have hindered recoveries for many businesses. As well, the city is dealing with the flight of many middle-class families wary of rising crime and seeking more space than is affordable in NYC apartments. If schools are shuttered, more parents would likely decide to move away.
Currently, some New York City school children are attending school a couple of days a week in a blended program that also includes assignments to watch videos and complete online assignments. Others are learning remotely full-time.
“This is our LAST chance to stop a second wave,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a Twitter message. “We can do it, but we have to act NOW.”
• 94 patients admitted to the hospital
• 817 new cases
• The infection rate 7-day average is 2.52%
This is our LAST chance to stop a second wave.
We can do it, but we have to act NOW.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 11, 2020
Parents who selected full-time remote learning have until November 15 to decide whether to switch into the blended program. But the surge in positivity raises the possibility that the blended programs will be shutdown altogether.
Many parents in New York City expect that the city will announce that children will not be receiving in-school instruction after Thanksgiving.
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- John Carney