Coronavirus Update NYC: School's positivity rate should be considered before closing, Cuomo says

Coronavirus update for NYC

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Saturday, November 14, 2020
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New York City should consider a school's COVID-19 positivity rate when deciding whether to close it to in-person learning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City should consider a school's COVID-19 positivity rate when deciding whether to close it to in-person learning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

Cuomo cautioned against making too quick of a decision to close schools.

"Closing the schools has ancillary consequences that people don't often think of," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said closing the schools makes it much harder for parents to go to work, creates issues with underprivileged children who depend on meals served at the schools, and makes it more likely children will spend more time on the street in areas with high positivity rates.

Cuomo also said parents and teachers should be part of the decision making process.

The governor's comments were in stark contrast to Mayor Bill de Blasio who said this week New York City would stick to its policy of closing schools if the city's seven-day average positivity rate exceeded 3%.

On Saturday, the city reported a 2.47% seven-day average positivity rate and as a result officials say schools currently remain open.

"We expect the daily test positivity to backfill and increase as more tests results are entered into the system, but do not expect that increase to push today's 7-day average to 3%," they said.

That's a drop from 2.83% the day before when the mayor said parents should have a plan.

Some parents believe closing schools to in-person learning is not good for their children's mental health. Those against remote learning will be holding a rally held at Foley Square Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, new restrictions went into effect Friday night in New York state as gyms, bars and restaurants have to now close at 10 p.m. Any venue with a state liquor license must also close down at 10 p.m.

However, take-out food is permitted past that hour, but not to-go booze which had become a popular option for patrons and a money-maker for restaurants.

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