NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to keep New York City public schools open amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Two schools in the Bronx were closed because a student may have COVID-19. More than 175,000 petitioned for closures in the city. There are currently 95 cases of COVID-19 in New York City.
“We want our schools to remain open,” de Blasio said Thursday afternoon. “We intend for our schools to remain open.”
He listed schools as one of three things he wants to “preserve at all costs.” De Blasio also included mass transit and the health care system.
Schools across the region have closed since the outbreak began.
De Blasio, during an interview on CNN earlier this week, said he feels most parents don’t want schools closed during “any crisis.”
“Of course safety first, but they depend on the schools, they are a safe place for their kids and by the way, they want their kids to keep getting educated,” he said. “So to me it’s a high bar for a closure. One thing I think makes sense is if you have a situation in a school, a temporary closure.”
In New York City, 900,000 meals a day are served up at schools and the Education Department is ready to feed students if there are closures, a spokeswoman said.
“We know that for many families, school is the only place to get meals for the day and that need continues even if a school closes,” the spokeswoman said. “If a school is closed for 24 hours we’re prepared to serve grab-and-go breakfast and lunch for any student who wants it.”