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NYC school reopening would be a phased approach; city on the brink of being labeled as 'orange zone'

Classroom
Posted at 1:03 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 19:11:00-05

NEW YORK CITY — New York City schools will be reopened in a phased approach, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday, despite not indicating when that reopening may occur and simultaneously warning the city could soon face further restrictions as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

In just a few days, New York City will likely be labeled an orange “hot zone” by the state, the mayor warned.

The "orange zone" label brings more restrictions for businesses, but the mayor reassured New Yorkers "we can and we will bring back our schools," but a lot of work is needed to do so.

"To bring schools back, we have to take our core vision, which is health and safety first, and intensify it," he said.

Additional testing will be necessary to reopen schools with the mayor warning parents.

"If you're a parent and you want your child back in school, sign that consent form for coronavirus monthly testing," Mayor de Blasio said.

The mayor indicated the school reopening would be a phased approach. District 75 schools for special needs students would be the first to return followed by elementary school grades and then the older grades.

Details are still being worked out.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday under an “orange zone,” state law kicks in, and the governor made clear he will not be negotiating with the teachers union.

One rule will be for the entire state, he said.

Under 3% positivity, the local government can decide what is right for schools.

On Nov. 18, Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced public schools would shift to full-remote learning after the city's COVID-19 metrics reported a 3% seven-day rolling average positivity.

It is unclear when schools will reopen.

Click here for more on the difference between yellow, orange and red zones and the positivity rates that trigger increased restrictions