Schools prepare to reopen in former red zones turned yellow in New York City

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, October 23, 2020
More than 100 schools to reopen after move into yellow zone
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45 schools in the red zone will stay closed.

REGO PARK, Queens (WABC) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced changes to New York's coronavirus red zones, allowing for some restaurants to begin offering indoor dining again on Thursday, and some schools to reopen for in-person learning Monday.

Cuomo said the positivity rate is dropping in some areas, enabling the state to lift some restrictions in certain areas.

103 schools will fully or partially reopen Monday, as part of the redesignated yellow zone.

45 school sites that are still in the Red Zone will remain closed.

The city reported that the yellow zone testing positivity rate is 0.18%.

In Brooklyn, the red zones remained, but there were movements within the orange zone.

Red and orange zones were eliminated in Queens based on progress made over the last two weeks -- that area is now all yellow zone.

In Rockland and Orange counties, red zones and yellow zones remained the same.

Cuomo said color zones will be adjusted based on these metrics:

- Exit a red zone: Under 3% after 10 days (4% in less populated areas)

- Exit an orange zone: Under 2% after 10 days (3% in less populated areas)

- Exit a yellow zone: Under 1.5% after 10 days (2% in less populated areas)

Additional considerations the governor mentioned were:

- Are new hospitalizations trending downward?

- Are new cases coming from a new source?

- Has local government undertaken increased and effective compliance enforcement actions?

- Is the community cooperating?

The state confirmed that affected businesses in the zones reopened Thursday, while schools are allowed to reopen on Monday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says outside of central Queens, there is still work to be done to lower the infection rate.

Throughout Brooklyn, the latest positivity rate in the COVID red zones is 3.45 percent.

But the red zones in central Queens are down to an average 2.17 percent.

The mayor said that area should serve as a model for the other red zone areas.

Overall citywide, the mayor says officials are seeing a leveling off, but they continue to encourage more testing and to warn against pandemic fatigue to get the city back to some type of normal.

School officials say families can opt into remote learning at any time.

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