NYC schools in COVID-19 hot spots will close starting Tuesday: Gov. Cuomo – New York Post

Posted By on October 7, 2020

Schools in Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks will again be closed for in-person classes starting Tuesday though businesses will remain open for now, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

The governor additionally announced that the state was rolling into the city to take the reins on enforcement using city personnel for coronavirus infractions in those areas, and put religious institutions on notice about large gatherings in houses of worship.

Cuomo dropped the bomb during a Midtown Manhattan press briefing one day after Mayor Bill de Blasio sought his blessing to shut down nine ZIP codes in the boroughs wholesale, closing not just schools but non-essential businesses and dining at restaurants.

The governor, however, said only schools would be closing for now.

These clusters have to be attacked, he said. New York City has clusters.

I would not send my child to a school in a hot-spot cluster, Cuomo continued with respect to the school closures. I am not going to recommend or allow any New York City family to send their child to a school that I wouldnt send my child.

Both public and private schools within nine ZIP codes experiencing outbreaks will be closed to in-person classes starting Tuesday. The governor did not give a reopening date.

Cuomo said that he made the decision following a good, collaborative conference call with de Blasio, city Comptroller Scott Stringer, City Council President Corey Johnson and Michael Mulgrew, president of the powerful United Federation of Teachers union.

Cuomo partially approved de Blasios plan less than a week after rapping the city for not doing enough to tamp down on the burgeoning outbreaks, a point he again stressed Monday without specifically naming the target of his remarks.

Enforcement is kind. You know why? Because enforcement saves lives, Cuomo said. Any rule is only as good as the enforcement.

Too many local governments are not doing enforcement, he continued. Warnings are not enforcement.

He announced that a joint task force between the state Department of Health and State Police would soon roll into the hot spots to take the lead on enforcement, staffed by local authorities.

Local governments will need to assign people to that task force who are supervised by that task force, deputized by that task force to give out state summonses, Cuomo said.

To illustrate how targeted enforcement could work, Cuomo offered the example of a church required to restrict its capacity to 50 percent.

When 50 percent enter the church, [theres] a person there who says to the pastor, You agreed to follow the rules, thats 50 percent. Thats it or we close it down, he said. It does not work without enforcement.

In the five boroughs, the sheriffs department had been taking the lead, augmented by the NYPD, city Department of Health and other municipal agencies.

But Cuomo derided City Hall for recently touting just 26 violations and 883 warnings issued among 2,000 inspections in the hot spots as a success story

Cuomo also noted that de Blasios plan left untouched religious institutions, even though many of the areas experiencing flare-ups are home to sizable Orthodox Jewish populations, with which the citys outreach efforts have struggled to connect.

Cuomo said he would meet Tuesday with leaders of the community both from the city and in Rockland and Orange counties, which also seeing outbreaks.

He said that he would again attempt to get them to see the light on abiding by pandemic precautions, but was prepared to shutter synagogues if ignored.

Were not going to make the same mistake twice, he said.

But some local leaders did not see Mondays announcement as an olive branch.

Closing down our schools is the most devastating thing you can do to our community, said Rabbi Bernard Freilich, a longtime community leader in Borough Park.

We tried this in March and April and it did not work. With Jewish studies in particular, it has to be done as a group, in person. Children cannot learn the Talmud alone.

Parents also said they were blindsided by the school closures.

It makes me sick to my stomach, because its a hardship on the parents, said Robyn Thompson, a mom to two kids, 11 and 8, at St. Edmunds Elementary School in Homecrest, Brooklyn. Theres no way a third-grader, a second-grader, a first-grader can do online school by his or herself. You have to sit there all day long, and Im not a teacher. It means I also cant work.

De Blasio had also requested that non-essential businesses within the affected ZIP codes be shuttered by state order, a step Cuomo stopped short of taking.

The governor explained Monday that he didnt feel ZIP codes were sufficient guidelines for outlining outbreaks, as they might punish stretches abiding by the rules while missing trouble spots just outside the ZIP code limits.

He said that closures of non-essential businesses are still in play, once a more surgical method of identifying problem areas is found.

The nine ZIP codes targeted for their 3-percent coronavirus positivity rate over the past seven days are:

Additional reporting by Sam Raskin and Reuven Fenton

More here:

NYC schools in COVID-19 hot spots will close starting Tuesday: Gov. Cuomo - New York Post

Related Post

Comments

Comments are closed.