New York City will be closing two public schools over concerns about coronavirus, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced Thursday. The mayor said two schools in the Bronx would close after a student’s “self-confirmed positive case of COVID-19,” which would be the first official case of a New York City public school student contracting the disease.
“We don’t make this decision lightly, and we know the disruption and anxiety this means for students, faculty and parents,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We are taking every precaution to keep people safe, and we will keep everyone informed as we learn more through the day.”
The mayor’s press secretary later clarified that the student’s coronavirus case is “self-confirmed” because the child’s parent reported the positive test. The city determined it was a “credible report,” but has not logged the student in its state database of coronavirus cases.
The two schools — Laboratory School of Finance and Technology and South Bronx Preparatory: A College Board School — share a building and have more than 1,300 students. De Blasio said the building will be closed for at least 24 hours and disinfected by the Department of Education.
The mayor said in a CNN interview Thursday that New York City could introduce “more restrictions” Thursday and Friday to help reduce crowds and stop the spread of coronavirus. But he said there was no plan to close the public school or subway systems, and that he did not want to see Broadway go dark.
New York City has confirmed 62 coronavirus cases as of Thursday morning, according to the mayor, including nine new cases since Wednesday. New York State has reported 173 cases — the highest of any state behind Washington, which reported 267 cases — and Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week declared a state of emergency.
Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state’s CUNY and SUNY college systems would move to distance learning for the rest of the semester due to coronavirus.
No coronavirus deaths have been reported in New York.