Public Health

NYC Coronavirus Update: Schools Are Now Closed

Mira Research Team20 Nov 2020

NYC Coronavirus Update: Schools Now Closed


Quick digest and NYC coronavirus update:

  • COVID-19 cases are rising in New York City, which had a 3% positivity rate last week. Due to this COVID surge, city health officials are growing concerned. The daily cases are growing as well.
  • NYC public schools are closed from November 19th, 2020 through Thanksgiving. An update will be given in the future regarding reopening.
  • New restrictions by Governor Andrew Cuomo included the closing of all bars, restaurants, and gyms at 10 pm and the limitation of private gatherings to 10 people
  • While Brooklyn and Queens had the highest rates of COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic, Staten Island is currently a yellow zone in terms of positive COVID cases


Latest coronavirus news in NYC- public schools closed

New York City’s public school system will close Thursday, November, 19th, according to the school chancellor Richard A. Carranza- signaling the second wave of coronavirus may have arrived in NYC.

“As of this morning, November 18, the City has now reached this threshold of test positivity citywide and, as a result, the DOE will temporarily close down all public school buildings for in-person learning, Thursday, November 19,” Mr. Carranza wrote shortly after 2 p.m. on Wednesday, about four hours after Mayor Bill de Blasio was scheduled to give a news conference.

The shutdown of public schools was prompted by New York City's 3% positivity rate for a 7-day rolling average.


Where are the coronavirus hot zones in NYC? The COVID surge in NYC

As of November 18, 2020, New York City has seen a total of 574,000 coronavirus cases. Over the past week, there has been an average of 4,664 cases per day, an increase of 117 percent from the average two weeks earlier. The positivity rate refers to the percent of people testing positive out of total tests administered. The city is seeing a steady increase in the number of cases and is possibly approaching a second wave.

Staten Island is currently a coronavirus hot zone, with the highest positivity rate in New York City. Only three of the 12 ZIP codes on Staten Island registered a 7-day positivity rate average of less than 3%, according to the city’s Health Department.

Tottenville (10307) has a 6.2% 7-day positive average, Richmond Town/ Oakwood/ Grant City (10306) has a 20.4% 7-day positive average and Mariner's Harbor (10303) has an 8.7% daily average in the last 7 days. Other Staten Island zip codes follow as well as Midtown Manhattan (10018).

Governor Andrew Cuomo deemed Staten Island a yellow zone due to the alarming rates of coronavirus spreading through the borough, with an overall positivity rate of 2.9%. Coronavirus hospitalizations have increased as well. 


What are the new restrictions in NYC? 

Due to recent surges in COVID-19 cases in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has instituted some new restrictions on bars, restaurants, and gyms. These restrictions are intended to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and lessen the burden on our hospitals as flu season approaches.  

These new restrictions are listed below and will be effective as of 11/13/20 at 10 pm. 

  • All private indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to a 10 person maximum capacity.
  • Bars and restaurants with a liquor license must stop in-person service at 10 pm.  Restaurants are permitted to remain open for pickup after 10 pm without alcohol.
  • Gyms must close by 10 pm.


Will gyms, bars, and restaurants have to close in NYC?

No, gyms, bars, and restaurants in NYC will be able to remain open at limited capacity during the daytime. These facilities will all need to close at 10 pm. Other nonessential businesses are still permitted to remain open at limited capacity. In addition, many public schools are still open, but if there is an NYC coronavirus surge, there may need to be a transition to remote learning. 

This could change if city public health officials enforce stricter rules.


Will NYC go on lockdown again? 

The current restrictions in place are meant to avoid the need for another full lockdown. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio has previously stated that indoor dining should stop if the citywide positivity rate reaches 2 percent, which it has. But he has not yet acted to curb the practice.

If New York City cannot get the coronavirus cases under control, another lockdown is possible in the future. Therefore, since the infection rate of COVID-19 is high, it is very important to continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and practice good hygiene to mitigate the spread of the virus. If you test positive for the virus, contact tracing is a necessary step in preventing others from spreading the virus. 


NYC Second wave- Is it happening?

“We have to stop a second wave from happening here,” Mayor de Blasio said during a news press conference. “It is getting dangerously close.”

While New York City has not declared an official second wave of COVID-19, city officials are concerned since the number of new cases has reached above 1,000 for five days in a row. In contrast, the cases were mostly in the 500 to 700 range in early October. At the peak of the pandemic, the city reported over 5,000 cases on a single day.

In order to lessen the strain on the hospital system and avoid another NYC lockdown, it is important to get your flu shot as soon as possible. In addition, people are hopeful that the COVID plan proposed by Joe Biden along with other public health measures will help us avoid a bad second wave of COVID-19 this winter. 


Can I travel in and out of New York?

Yes, you can still travel in and out of New York but some travel restrictions apply. If you are traveling into New York from a state with a high volume of COVID-19 cases, you must quarantine for 14 days. 

There is now an option to test out of this 14-day quarantine if you obtain a negative diagnostic test within three days of departure. In addition, you must quarantine for 3 days and get another COVID-19 test after 4 days of travel. If that test is also negative, you may end your quarantine early. 

You may leave New York to travel to other places in the United States, but you must abide by each individual state’s travel restrictions. If you leave New York for over 24 hours, you must abide by New York testing and quarantine restrictions when you return. 


Helpful Resources and Frequently Asked Questions: 

Not sure what to do during lockdown? See our article 7 things to do during quarantine 

Can I see my family for Thanksgiving? See our article Is Thanksgiving 2020 Cancelled?

Need a COVID-19 Test in NYC? See our article on testing locations NYC



New York Times:

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