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Amid Rising Coronavirus Cases, New York City Shuts Its Schools — Again

NPR |

The nation’s largest public school system will halt in-person learning Thursday, sending more than 1 million children into all-online classes.

When the school year finally began at the end of September after two delays, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that if the city reached an average 3% positivity rate over a seven-day period of coronavirus testing, schools would close again. This is the most cautious threshold recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its school-reopening guidelines. The city hit that number over the past few days.

Blasio portrayed his decision as a promise kept both to educators and to parents. “We’ve got to keep faith with our school communities and be consistent,” he told radio host Brian Lehrer on WNYC last Friday. The United Federation of Teachers, the union that represents most New York City instructors, had endorsed sticking with the plan as laid out.