NEW YORK (PIX11) — The wildfire smoke shut down in-person learning for New York City public schools for Friday, but they’re still playing ball in the Bronx.
Those are just some of the decisions being made by Mayor Eric Adams, who continues to dismiss any suggestion his initial response to the Air Quality Alert was lacking.
The city and state offered high-quality masks at many locations Thursday, with health officials continuing to suggest masking for those who need to go outside.
City officials expressed optimism that the worst has passed, and despite a slight worsening of air quality Thursday night, Adams said he will not mandate the cancellation of private outdoor events like the Yankees doubleheader in the Bronx.
He did order all city high schools to switch to remote learning remote for Friday. Elementary and middle schools were already closed for a teacher clerical work day.
Closing schools statewide was an idea Gov. Kathy Hochul had roundly rejected on Thursday, shortly before the mayor made his announcement.
“We’ve been asked if we should cancel schools?” she said during an air quality briefing. “If that means they’re going to be outside absolutely not.”
The governor and mayor continue to face criticism that they could have done more sooner, including better communication and mask distribution.
But the mayor brushed off any suggestion his administration did not put out alerts in a timely manner, calling the smoke event unprecedented.
“We are doing it,” he said. “I know we’re doing it, I know how to deploy, how to execute how to mobilize, this is what I have spent my life doing, and this team did it in the right way.”
The governor also announced she is sending firefighting resources to Canada.