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Latest coronavirus updates in New York: Friday, July 31, 2020

Virus Outbreak New York
Posted at 6:43 AM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 11:13:17-04

NEW YORK — Below you will find the most up-to-date information on coronavirus news impacting New York. You can find additional resources and coverage on our coronavirus page.

10 a.m.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio held his daily briefing. Watch here when it begins.

Reopening schools in the fall

  • The city unveiled COVID-19 safety protocols for city schools. READ MORE.
  • “We are going to do whatever it takes” to keep children and educators safe.
  • There are so many reasons for a child to be in school
  • Threshold for reopening and closing schools
    • NYC schools can reopen if percentage of citywide positive tests is less than 3% using a seven-day rolling average.
    • If percentage is equal or greater than 3%, schools will close
  • Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza: "We are focusing on the science, not the science fiction"
  • The goal of this approach is that students will stay with the same group to limit the amount of movement within the school and lessen the spread of the virus, if there is one.
  • Director of Test and Trace Corps Ted Long:
    • If a student or teacher is feeling sick, they are required to stay home, directed to free testing site.
    • If a student experiencing symptoms, they'll be sent home as soon as possible.
    • A positive case can be reported to a school by a staff member, parent or student
    • A positive confirmed case will trigger an investigation by the NYC Test+Trace Corps and DOHMH to determine close contacts.

Daily indicators

  • COVID hospitalizations: 65
  • H+H ICUs: 268
  • Percentage tested positive: 1%

Q&A
Teachers union: have you been in contact?

  • “We have to do this the right way, health and safety first," de Blasio said.
  • Carranza: We have workshopped with teams from organizations going through every decision. We don’t always agree, but conversations continue on keeping everyone safe.

Blended learning

  • The blended approach will "benefit our kids," mayor said.
  • We want students to have as much in-person instruction as possible, Carranza said. "We want to give consistency to parents," he added.

Will you make information public as to the number of cases in schools?

  • Everything will be public once it’s confirmed.
  • This time, we’re going to the situation with more knowledge.

Hurricane forecast: Is it headed our way? What precautions are in place?

  • “So far, projections look favorable to us,” the mayor said, “but we’re watching this hour by hour.”
  • We’ll know more in the next 24 hours.

High school, middle school setting where students aren’t typically programmed to be together on a regular day.

  • De Blasio: We’re right now reengineering that as much as humanly possible.
  • Carranza: Two main topics: Concept to LIMIT interactions — "In-person school this fall will not be the same as it was last fall." "It will not look the same."

If we're equal or greater than 3% threshold, are there alternatives for child care?

  • BDB: Child care, we're working on developing that plan.
  • The initial plan where they'd have space/child care avail for 100,000 students will still move forward.
  • We hope to build on that.
  • we have to be able to go to full remote, if necessary.

CDC suggests schools be fully closed if a positive case is confirmed.

  • We're layering all safety measures simultaneously.
  • We have the pod approach to limit who kids are in contact with.
  • If you have a case in a classroom, it gives us the potential to keep that virus from spreading.

Vaccines: Will staff be required to have vaccines?

  • Goal is to mitigate the spread without a vaccine.
  • We think we can push this down lower without a vaccine.
  • We think we can drive down virus “substantially.”
  • The more we do that effectively, it might open up more options for schools.
  • If there is a vaccine, we don’t know what we’ll do yet, but we’ll be very vigorous in getting people vaccinated to further prevent the spread.

Why use the 3% threshold when the 5% is widely used?

  • We were once the epicenter.
  • The conditions of the city: We’re denser. We’re trying to be cautious to prevent another resurgence.
  • “By setting this 3% goal, we’re sending a message: Health and safety first.”
  • If there are higher percentages of people testing positive, we’d want our schools shut down to prevent the further spread in the city.

Latest official numbers:
As of Thursday afternoon, a total of 414,370 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in New York, with the state's death toll at 25,145.

COVID-19 timeline: How novel coronavirus spread

Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks

The New York state coronavirus hotline is 1-888-364-3065; information is also being posted here