The public schools of New York They did not open their doors this Thursday to receive their students, in a measure criticized by many parents, and with which the authorities try to prevent the new wave of contagion that the United States devours also floods this state, where, so far, the positivity index in the covid-19 it remains at a moderate 3.01%.
“We are seeing a storm that is coming and we are fighting a second wave,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio today at his first press conference after the announcement yesterday of the closure of the largest public education system in the country, before clarifying that “in a few days” it will announce a new security protocol for the reopening of the centers, which so far are not expected to open until after Thanksgiving, which is celebrated on November 26.
Also read: CDC recommends not traveling on Thanksgiving due to pandemic
A PROBLEM FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS
Alejandro, who is in fourth grade at a Brooklyn school, is one of the affected schoolchildren.
His father Juan Hernández, a Spaniard married to the American Edith, assures Efe that in anticipation of this happening, as De Blasio warned last week, he had asked for days off from work.
However, he assures that if the situation continues it will be very difficult to find a solution.
“Fatal, it’s a disaster,” says Juan when asked about the closure, before explaining that his wife is a nurse and works every day and that he, an employee of the Cervantes Institute, must go to his workplace on Thursdays and Fridays, and that Fridays coincide with one of the days that your child has a face-to-face class.
Since the beginning of the course, Alejandro’s class only has 18 of the 25 children enrolled last year and the regime is blended. To avoid possible infections, it was divided into two groups of nine who go to the center on alternate days so as not to coincide.
“Schools are the safest place,” says Juan before insisting that there are only 9 students per classroom, that the windows are always open and that both students and teachers wear masks.
For Juan, who assures that he does not understand how schools have been able to close while businesses such as bars or restaurants remain open, after the stoppage decreed during the first wave last spring, if this continues “the children have a year lost.”
“I understand and feel the frustration of parents, many of whom want their children to go to school,” conceded the mayor of New York today, who did not offer a reopening date although he said they would open as soon as possible.
MORE RESTRICTIONS ARE AHEAD IN NY BY INCREASE IN CONTAGES
The closure of the public education system in New York City was decided after the first restrictions came into effect last Friday to try to contain the second wave, such as the closure of restaurants, bars and gyms at ten o’clock at night and reducing private meetings to a maximum of 10 people.
Today De Blasio announced that more measures are coming since with the increase in the rate of infections, in one or two weeks the governor of the state Andrew Cuomo, could declare the entire city “orange zone”, which implies a reduction in capacity in places of worship, a ban on serving food inside restaurants and bars, and the closure of non-essential and high-risk businesses, such as gyms.
“But, in fact, these other limitations that will come into force with the orange zone are going to help us defeat the disease, that’s what these kinds of restrictions are for, they help change things,” said De Blasio.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR A ZONE TO BE DECLARED “ORANGE” BY COVID-19?
According to state authorities, an area is declared “orange” when the number of positivity in coronavirus tests reaches 3% and “red” when it reaches 4%.
However, the state and the city have different metrics. While New York City considers that 3% is reached as soon as the positivity index reaches that figure; for the state, the index must stay at three or above for ten consecutive days to declare a “orange” zone and, therefore, order closings.
In fact, Governor Andrew Cuomo today showed his differences with De Basio, ensuring that schools are safer than businesses such as restaurants and pointed out that a school in an orange zone might not have to close if students and workers are tested and rules out the existence of infected.
A GROWING INCREASE IN POSITIVITY
The United States reached the figure of 11,498,515 confirmed cases of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus on Wednesday and 250,180 deaths from the covid-19 disease, according to the independent count from Johns Hopkins University, with 1,751 more deaths than on Tuesday and 157,952 new infections.
The director of the New York City Department of Health, Dave Chokshi, stressed at a conference organized to coincide with the closing of schools that the Big Apple faces a “challenge due to the significant increase in cases, which has multiplied by two from October to November and then again for two, just in the last two weeks. ”
“From our experience, what we see in the country and around the world is that if the cases increase and measures are not taken, they transform very quickly into hospitalizations and, unfortunately, into serious illnesses and deaths,” said Choksi, who expressed concern about the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, for which the authorities have recommended avoiding travel and reducing the number of people in meetings as much as possible.
New York, which during the first wave became the epicenter of the pandemic and which accumulates the highest number of deaths in the United States with 34,187, in this second onslaught of the virus it remains among the regions with the lowest rate of positivity.
For the city’s health commissioner, the prescription that so far has allowed New York to prevent the positivity rate from soaring above 5% – the maximum recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) – is the awareness of New Yorkers in wearing a mask, the positive response of infected citizens to the calls of the trackers and their respect for quarantines and the large number of COVID-19 tests carried out in the city. .