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Will NYC schools be forced to close?

Here's what parents need to know.

Written by
Danielle Valente

UPDATE: NYC schools will be closed on Thursday, Nov 19. Chancellor Richard A. Carranza has sent an email to principals of NYC schools about the switch to remote learning. Miranda Barbot, press secretary for the NYC DOE, has confirmed the closure with Time Out New York Kids. Mayor Bill de Blasio has confirmed in a tweet that NYC reached the 3 percent threshold needed to shut down schools.  

As the colder months approach, New Yorkers are facing the possibility of a second wave. 

The state's daily infection rate is the highest it has been since May. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's latest data shows that infections and hospitalizations are on the rise in the city. It begs the question: How will this affect our children? (Though virus transmission rates in schools have been low, according to The New York Times.) 

NYC schools are allowed to open their doors if the percentage of citywide positive tests is less than 3 percent (as compared to 5 percent for the rest of the state). As of Nov 13, the infection rate seven-day average is 2.83 percent, per Mayor Bill de Blasio. According to NBC News and The Hill, NYC schools are preparing to make the shift to fully remote learning. This could happen as soon as Monday, Nov 16, NBC reports.    

During a press event earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the issue. "The seven-day rolling average, is really where we need to look," he said. "If that keeps going up, obviously if that goes above three percent, then our schools go all remote for a period of time. That's a tremendous concern right there."

Time Out New York Kids has reached out the the NYC DOE for input but did not hear back at the time of publication. 

Meanwhile, the rest of the city—and state—is taking precautions against the rising numbers. Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued a 10pm curfew for bars, restaurants and gyms across the state and insists that holiday gatherings are limited to 10 people. These rules will go into effect on Friday, Nov 13. 

Stay safe, New Yorkers. Health tips are available on the NYC website. Note that the deadline to switch your child to the blended learning model is Nov 15. If you're staying in and wondering how to keep the little ones entertained, visit our Time In page for all-things movies, books, crafts and more. 

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