NEW YORK — As Staten Island continues to see some of the highest coronavirus rates in the city, all Catholic elementary schools in the borough will be closed starting Thursday and students will immediately transition to remote learning.

This announcement Wednesday came just hours after Gov. Andrew Cuomo designated most of the borough a “yellow zone,” as the infection rate reached 5.2% and daily hospitalizations increased.

The newly imposed restrictions do not call for schools in “yellow zones” to close. Instead, schools must follow strict COVID-19 testing measures. But Catholic schools still made the choice to switch to remote learning. It's unclear how long students will have to learn online.

Data the city gathered showed the spread of the virus in public schools remains low. But public schools arent in the clear. If the seven-day average of positive coronavirus cases hits 3%, all public schools in the five boroughs will be forced to switch to remote learning. The average infection rate is currently at 2.52%, which is much higher than it's been for months.

The Archdiocese says Catholic schools in Queens and Brooklyn will remain open for in-person learning.


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