New York schools won’t reopen until it’s safe: Mayor
PIC: AFP

New York City officials said that schools will not reopen for in-person instruction unless the city's coronavirus infection rate remains below 3 per cent on a seven-day rolling average.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday announced that the city would be watching the positivity rate for COVID-19 in NYC to determine if schools can reopen and stay open for the 2020-2021 school year. "We will not reopen our schools unless the city's infection rate is below 3 per cent," he said, Xinhua news agency reported.

The city's infection rate has remained steady at around 2 per cent for several weeks, and was at 1 per cent on Friday.

School leadership and staff are reviewing school space and making necessary repairs and adjustments to ensure safe conditions for in-person student learning this fall.

"The city will prioritize free testing for school-based staff with 24-hour turn around time results at any of the 34 city-run testing locations," New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said. "School-based staff members are also encouraged to opt into monthly COVID-19 testing which is critically important."

New York City released a detailed plan for returning students to class late Thursday, hours before New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's Friday deadline for the state's 700 school districts to submit their plans for review. Cuomo said he would decide whether schools in the state would reopen in the fall in the first week of August.

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