NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – While coronavirus cases are rising in the Tri-State Area, there may be some good news when it comes to New York City public schools.
The seven-day positive test average in the city is still below 3%, meaning no closures yet.
If the COVID-19 infection rate increases, students and teachers will be sent home for remote learning.
“We are all praying that they don’t close schools,” parent Caitlyn Sullivan said.
But for now, New York City is sitting at an infection rate of 2.47%, declining from 2.83% just one day ago.
While it’s going down, some parents are still worried.
“It’s better for them to be learning in class than at home,” Sullivan said.
Dozens of parents and kids rallied in Foley Square on Saturday to keep classrooms open.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo addressed those concerns Saturday during his daily COVID conference call, bringing up the idea of closing schools on a case-by-case basis.
“School in a red zone? Yes, close the school because you’re in the middle of a hot zone. But you can test out of the red zone. So you test the students in that school, and if that school is not presenting a problem, then allow the school to operate. I think New York City should seriously consider that,” Cuomo said.
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Marissa Garcia teaches English at New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn. She understands what the governor is proposing but has some reservations.
“You have kids are traveling on public transportation, buses, trains, for an hour at a shot, and you’ve got these crowded trains, then it’s a little bit more frightening, to me, in terms of transmission,” she said.
Mark Cannizzaro, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators president, tells CBS2 while the idea seems practical, executing it may be a challenge.
“I just don’t think it would be a good idea to change course for this week or the very near future if we reached that 3%,” he said.
If it does, father Andy Gaynor says they will figure a way to make home learning work.
“If they’re going to close them down, it’s probably the right thing to do,” he said.
Three percent is a number the United Federation of Teachers reached along with the city. CBS2 reached out to both to see how they felt about this decision. At this time, we have not heard back, so it’s not clear how a potential change to that decision could impact their agreement.
Watch Christina Fan’s report —
This comes as a new coronavirus restrictions on dining and social gatherings are officially in effect in New York.
As CBS2’s Christina Fan reports, Friday night was the first night of new restrictions across New York state.
All bars and restaurants must close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., except for takeout and delivery.
Gyms also have to close for those hours. Private gatherings are limited to 10 people, unless they are a household.
A typical pandemic weekend for Laura Sciuto often brings her Chelsea restaurant, Pasta Eater, more customers than a weekday, but this first weekend of new changes limits the amount of money coming in for food and drinks.
“It’s impacting our business because we might have a party of six, eight people, and they have to leave at 10 because we have to close everything,” Sciuto said.
Edo owner Chloe Lin says the curfew, along with the indoor capacity capped at 25%, hurts them too.
“The weekend customer, then, yes, I have to tell them curfew is 10, so the last reservation will be eight,” Lin said.
New York City sheriff’s officials also continue to crack down on parties.
Over 200 people were found inside a garage on West 26th Street Saturday morning. Four people were charged with illegally serving liquor and violating emergency orders.
In Brooklyn on Liberty Avenue, an illegal party with more than 185 people was also shut down, leaving three organizers to face multiple misdemeanors.
Meanwhile, Cuomo called for an emergency summit of Northeastern governors this weekend amid concerns of a second wave.
New York reported 5,388 new cases Friday. New Jersey saw its highest daily number ever — 4,395. Connecticut had just over 1,800 new cases Friday.
Contact tracing is underway, and Gov. Lamont will be tested for the virus twice a week. It’s the first known case within the governor’s office.
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