New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says public schools will open to students on a rolling ‘school by school’ basis and that he’ll announce his plan on how to do so next week.
De Blasio abruptly shut down public schools again last week after New York City hit a 3 percent COVID-19 test positivity rate.
When he sent more than one million children into all-online classes, de Blasio promised he would have a reopening plan before the Thanksgiving holiday.
He said on Wednesday that he would announce his plan next week.
‘We will find a way back through this pandemic because we’ve proven we can keep schools safe, but we will have to come back in a different way given some of the challenges we are facing with this second wave bearing down on us,’ de Blasio said.
‘Next week we will put forward that plan. It will take a lot of engagement with parents. We will need a lot of help from parents, but we know parents want their kids back in school. They will be our partners.’
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says public schools will open to students on a rolling ‘school by school’ basis and that he’ll announce his plan on how to do so next week
He said that when schools did reopen, all students would have to have a consent form ready to undergo testing before entering buildings.
‘Every child will have to have a consent form on file because testing will be more frequently,’ he said.
‘Right now the norm in the schools has been once a month. That’s going to increase. We are going to work out the exact amount but that’s going to increase.’
Of his plan, de Blasio only said that officials would focus on Special Education District 75 first before early childhood and elementary levels.
His comments came after hundreds protested outside the mayor’s Gracie Mansion home earlier in the day demanding that he reveal his plans to reopen the nation’s largest public school system.
De Blasio also revealed on Wednesday that more than one million New Yorkers have been tested for coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic – the most in any city across the country.
It comes as cases and hospitalizations in the city and state continue to rise with the onset of cooler weather, which has forced people indoors.
Meanwhile, Gov Andrew Cuomo warned that the looming COVID surge is ‘reminiscent of the bad old days’ as he opened a field hospital on Staten Island and revealed he is working on a ‘winter plan’ to battle the crisis.
Staten Island has the worst COVID-19 problem in New York City – the test positivity rate there is more than 7 percent in some zip codes and is at least four percent in others
The state’s test positivity rate is now more than 3 percent and there were 41 deaths from the virus on Tuesday – a decrease since the previous day but a marked increase from the summer and early fall months.
Cuomo on Tuesday warned that cases would triple at least over the next three weeks given the current rate of spread and the holiday season with millions of people traveling for the holiday.
Staten Island has the worst COVID-19 problem in New York City – the test positivity rate there is more than 7 percent in some zip codes and is at least four percent in others. A field hospital there has been set up to deal with any over-spill.
While Cuomo is confident that the city and state wouldn’t be catapulted into the same level of crisis that was seen in the spring – when more than 18,000 people were in hospitals with COVID across the state of New York – he is urging caution.
At a press conference on Wednesday, he said: ‘On Staten Island we’ve already opened a field hospital.
‘I’ve been speaking to other governors, they’re opening field hospitals.
‘This is reminiscent of the bad old days when you had emergency field hospitals that looked like something you’d see in a World War II movie.’
Cuomo also revealed that the state’s ‘winter plan’ would focus on areas with high infection rates and high hospitalization rates, stressing that the key was to avoid overwhelming the hospital system.
‘You’ll see it ten days after Thanksgiving,’ he said of the spike, adding: ‘We are starting to develop a winter plan – we have been dealing with covid in phases.
‘We had a summer phase, a fall phase and we’re going to move into a winter phase.
‘The experts have advised us to prepare a plan for the winter To give you some aspects on the winter plan, which is December, January February, the first thing we want to do prioritize the highest infection rates with the highest hospitalization rates.
‘What is the greatest fear during COVID? Greatest fear is you overwhelm the hospital system and the hospitals can’t keep up. We’re going to take a serious look at that increase.
‘We have a vaccine but that doesn’t mean the COVID problem is over. It’ll be months and months before we distribute enough vaccine to solve the problem.
‘It’s going to be much harder than anticipated,’ he said.
New York state has one of the lowest test positivity rates of anywhere in the country.
Cuomo said on Wednesday that people entering the state from worse-impacted areas will likely drive up the positivity rate.
He is begging New Yorkers – and people from other states – to stay home for Thanksgiving to prevent a spike, despite offering to drive his own daughter from Illinois back to New York to have dinner with him, and despite inviting his 89-year-old mother to dinner too.
He has since rescinded the invitation, claiming it’s because he has no time to quarantine first and not because he was labeled a hypocrite by critics.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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