In a move to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all city public schools will close until April 20. Classes for students will be conducted online. Meals will be temporarily provided for students in need. There are an estimated 1.1 million students enrolled in New York City schools, making it the largest district in the United States.
Following an announcement by the CDC recommending groups with more than 50 people be avoided, New York City is mandating that Movie theaters, gyms, bars and restaurants close and move to a takeout and delivery only model. The closures will take effect on March 17th.
Grocery and drug stores will continue to stay open in order to provide the public with supplies.
“As we learn more about COVID-19 every day, we are keeping every possible option on the table to keep New Yorkers safe. That’s why we are asking the people of our City to make hard choices as we introduce more restrictive measures to create greater social distancing—including the temporary closure of our school buildings. We all need to change our lives—in ways both big and small—to keep each other safe,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“The health and safety of our students and families remains our top priority, and we are committed to providing instructional opportunities for all of our students,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “We know that millions of New Yorkers depend on our schools for education, but also so much more, and we will be supporting each of them during this time. We have the best students and most dedicated staff in the world—and nothing will change that.”
New York State schools and restaurants will have the same mandates. New Jersey and Connecticut will join the state in solidarity by closing its bars and restaurants Moving to delivery only models as well.
There are now 329 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York City and 5 fatalities.