COVID and NYC Schools Update
Coronavirus infection rate might keep schools from reopening
by Andrew Henry
The decision for students and teachers to physically return back to school has been a topic of concern for many. Schools are scheduled to reopen with new health protocols while practicing social distancing. Students will be learning through a new model called “blended learning” where they will physically be taught in school for part of the week and will also learn remotely for the rest.
Although there are plans to reopen, if the coronavirus infection rate jumps past 3% schools will stay closed. Christina Veiga at Chalkbeat article talks more about this.
The city’s threshold is stricter than the state’s target of a 5% infection rate, and it surpasses other large school districts. The more cautious approach is perhaps a reflection of the trauma endured this spring, when New York City became the epicenter of COVID-19. More than 20,000 lives were lost to the virus, with 220,000 thousand confirmed cases as of July 31, according to city health data. The 3% infection rate ceiling would be based on a rolling seven-day average, the mayor said. Positive cases in the city have hovered around 1 or 2% over the past several weeks.
Considering the state’s percentage has been hovering over 1 – 2% the city’s threshold of 3% is very close and could be worrisome for the fall reopening plans. With all these new rules, an official decision and confirmation still has to be made.
Cuomo had set a Friday deadline for districts across New York to submit reopening plans. New York City submitted a health and safety plan, but received an extension for turning in its school-specific proposals. That is reportedly not expected for another two weeks.
In Chicago, the nation’s third largest school district, schools will remain open as long as cases remain below 8%. In Indianapolis, health officials decided that in-person instruction will be restricted once cases climb past 5% — but they have to get up to 13% to close schools entirely.
Although every state has their own percentage and plan, it’s safe to say we all just want to be and stay safe.
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