NY City Closes Public Schools; 300,000 Students Back to Remote Learning

New York City is shutting its public schools. It was the first major metropolis to reopen its school buildings, in late September.
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New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said the nation's biggest public school system on Thursday will shut all school buildings, sending about 300,000 students back to remote learning.

The city is confronting a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, which has sent the positive testing rate above 3% for a seven-day average, The New York Times reports.

New York City was the first major metropolis to reopen its school buildings in late September, after the first wave of the pandemic eased. The reopening was seen as a major marker in the pandemic’s slowdown, but now that has reversed.

In a slightly surprising move, the city is letting indoor dining continue and gyms to stay open, despite the school closings.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said a closing of indoor dining should be considered, The Times reports. But only Gov. Andrew Cuomo can make that move, and he and de Blasio frequently squabble.

Cuomo has said “the [revived pandemic] problem is not coming from the schools.” The state won’t mandate school closings, unless they’re in a region where the seven-day positivity rate hits 9%, he said according to The Times. 

The governor said the problem is more bars and restaurants and indoor family gatherings.

Many cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, haven’t let students back at all this academic year.

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