NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio closed schools again on Wednesday. The COVID-19 positivity rate in New York City is 3%
Public schools in New York City will close from Thursday as a result of the rising COVID-19 test positivity rate and businesses like gyms may soon be closed too, officials warned on Wednesday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday afternoon that all schools would revert to remote learning starting from Thursday morning because the test positivity rate in New York City was 3 percent.
‘No one is happy about this decision. We are all feeling very sad about this decision,’ de Blasio said on Wednesday afternoon.
The positivity rate in schools is only 0.19 percent but de Blasio said he was sticking to 3 percent citywide threshold because that’s what he decided earlier this year. De Blasio also went on to say that more restrictions were ‘coming’ and ‘coming soon.’
Governor Andrew Cuomo, who decides if businesses stay open or not, said the test positivity rate was 2.5 percent in New York City but that if it rose to 3 percent, he would start closing indoor dining and gyms.
There is a considerably higher positivity rate in Staten Island, Queens and the Bronx than in Manhattan and most of Brooklyn.
Along with the case count, the number of daily hospitalizations and deaths is also creeping back up. On Tuesday, there were 29 deaths across the state of New York.
NYC POSITIVITY RATES
MANHATTAN – 2.3%
BROOKLYN – 3.9%
QUEENS – 4.6%
BRONX – 5.1%
STATEN ISLAND – 4.5%
The number is a far cry from the hundreds that were dying every day in the spring, but they are a worrying increase from the single-digits seen throughout most of the summer.
Indoor dining, which is currently at 25 percent capacity, will stop and outdoor dining will be limited to four people at a table if NYC hits a 3 percent positive-test rate.
It would deliver a fatal blow to the hospitality industry which clung on through the summer by offering outdoor dining.
Houses of worship will still be allowed to operate, however, at a 33 percent capacity.
Cuomo, speaking at a heated press conference where he yelled at reporters who asked him about schools and called one reporter ‘obnoxious’, warned that there will be a ‘tremendous spike’ after Thanksgiving due to people ignoring his rules to come together.
The rules now are that no more than 10 people can gather together.
Cuomo said the rising infection rates were all ‘self-imposed’ and compared it to a person ‘eating cheesecake and having a weight problem.’
‘You will see a tremendous spike after Thanksgiving,’ Cuomo warned on Wednesday, saying: ‘Thanksgiving is a holiday and people come together.
‘If you don’t have a real fear about COVID, you’re going to come together.’
This is the rising case count in New York City. As of Wednesday, the test positivity rate was 3 percent
Hospitalizations are also increasing. Above, city data until November 15
Deaths are starting to rise across New York City too but at a slower rate. Statewide, there were 29 deaths on Tuesday
This is the statewide trend of hospitalizations in New York since the start of the pandemic
He said he has told his own mother that they cannot spend Thanksgiving with his family.
‘Your family sounds safe, doesn’t it? No. You won’t be safe. It’s an illusion. My sister loves me, my sister could infect me. Not maliciously, but accidentally,’ he said.
‘Don’t be the turkey on Thanksgiving,’ he warned.
Gov. Cuomo snapped at reporters on Wednesday as they asked him about impending lockdown. He said NYC is 0.5% away from another lockdown
Cuomo became frustrated on Wednesday as journalists questioned him on whether or not schools would be open tomorrow, and whether the decision was down to him or Mayor Bill de Blasio.
He called the first reporter who asked him about it ‘obnoxious’ and said they hadn’t been paying attention.
He then bit back at the second reporter who asked if schools would be open tomorrow, then snapped at a third who asked if it was him or de Blaso who made the rules.
‘You don’t know?’ he asked repeatedly.
Since the start of the pandemic, parents in New York City have found the conflicting remarks and rules confusing.
In his letter to teachers, the schools chancellor said: ‘This as been an eventful and challenging year on so many levels.
‘With your efforts and contributions, our school buildings have been safe places for teaching and learning for hundreds of thousands of students over the past several weeks.
‘To date, we have seen a COVID-19 positivity rate of 0.19 percent out of 120,000 students and staff tested.
This has been reassuring sign that our schools are safe, and we are grateful for the tireless work you do to ensure this is possible.’
Across the country, states are re-entering various stages of lockdown as the second wave sweeps the nation. Deaths are now going up as much as cases are but they are starting to increase