Schools will stay open for at least another day as the city’s coronavirus positivity rate continues to remain below the threshold that would force the suspension of in-person learning, Mayor de Blasio said Monday.
Last week, the mayor warned that schools could close as early as today and switch to fully remote learning if the city’s seven-day infection rate reached 3% over the weekend.
On Monday, the seven-day average stood at 2.77%.
“If people keep doing what they’re doing, coming out for the testing, wearing those face coverings, there’s a real chance here we can fight back this second wave,” said de Blasio on MSNBC.
In a separate appearance on MSNBC Monday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo again suggested the city change the threshold for closing schools. He said he thinks it would be safer for children to be in a school building rather than on the street, where the possibility of infection might be higher.
But at this time, it appears de Blasio is not planning to follow the governor's suggestion.
“We set a standard of 3%, to keep faith with our families, and with our educators, our staff. We said look after everything this city went through the epicenter of the crisis back in the spring we would bring schools back unlike most any other major city in america. We would bring schools back but do it very, very safely,” said de Blasio.
The mayor decided on the 3% threshold after conversations with the teachers' union. But Cuomo says that with a school testing system in place, that guideline should be reevaluated.
“Now if we reach this 3% level, god forbid, but if we reach it we're gonna have to do some kind of reset. It’s not a matter of saying ‘oh let's just forget we had that.’ No, that was a rule we made to keep faith with people and show our commitment to safety, we're gonna live with that rule,” the mayor said.
The mayor added that if the city does reach the threshold, he hopes to only close schools for just a few weeks.