On November 19, public schools across New York City are temporarily closing due to a city-wide spike in COVID-19 cases. Chancellor Richard Carranza confirmed the closures would not be permanent in an email sent to staffers on Wednesday afternoon, but did not include when the schools would be cleared to reopen. Mayor de Blasio shared news of the closures via Twitter.
Private schools will not be affected, according to ABC7.
For more than a week, New York City has recorded around a 3 percent weekly average of new cases. There has been discussion regarding changing the threshold used to close city schools, but New York Daily News reports Mayor de Blasio believes there would be major pushback from the United Federation of Teachers union, which represents a large number of educators in the city, .
Although public schools in New York have been in a hybrid phase, with both virtual and in-person learning, the recent closures are projected to affect close to 300,000 students who rely on in-person support for mental and physical disabilities. Community-based organizations, such as the Learning Bridges program, that are contracted by the city will remain open as they offer free childcare to nearly 30,000 students.