What there is to know
- NYC is considering new closings for the first time in months to try to contain new clusters; in some areas, positivity rates have reached 6%
- The larger group of four neighborhoods has been dubbed “The Ocean Parkway Cluster”; if no progress is made on positivity rates by Monday evening, non-essential businesses could be closed as well as daycare centers
- One of New York’s largest high schools told parents on Saturday it was switching to distance learning a few days before in-person classes resumed.
More than 1,000 New Yorkers have tested positive for COVID-19 in a single day on Friday, marking the first time since June 5 that the state has seen such a high daily count.
The number of positive tests reported daily in the state has been steadily increasing in recent weeks, a trend possibly linked to the increase in the number of businesses reopening, the reopening of college campuses and children returning. at school. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday that there had been 1,005 positive cases identified the day before out of 99,953 tests, for a positive rate of 1%.
From late July to early September, the state was seeing an average of around 660 people testing positive per day. In the seven-day period that ended on Friday, the state averaged 817 positive tests per day.
Cuomo did not comment on the 1,000 case threshold in his daily COVID-19 update, but reiterated his call for vigilance.
“It is vital that New Yorkers continue to practice the basic behaviors that drive our ability to fight COVID-19 as we enter the fall and flu season,” Cuomo said in a prepared statement. “Wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing make a critical difference, as does the deliberate application of state guidelines by local governments. ”
The health ministry said there will be regular inspections of all non-public schools in the cluster area and adjacent postcodes, and enforcement staff will be reinforced to ensure compliance with the mask and social distancing remains in place. NBC New York’s Tracie Strahan reports.
That number of positive daily tests in a state of over 19 million people still puts New York in a much better position than many other states. And the world is better than the situation in the state in April, when the number of positive tests per day consistently exceeded 9,000, even though tests were hard to come by then and people were encouraged not to look for less. to be seriously ill.
The higher number of positive tests in recent times could be linked to more people seeking tests – or being forced to take them – with the start of the academic year.
Still, the rise has been a cause for concern. In New York City, health officials have sounded the alarm over a growing number of cases in parts of Brooklyn and Queens, where many private religious schools opened for in-person teaching in early September, warning that these communities could see severe restrictions on restored public gatherings. if current trends continue.
Public elementary, middle and high school students in New York City are expected to resume in-person teaching next week on September 29 and October 1.
Days before the long-awaited return of in-person learning, one of the city’s largest high schools announced on Saturday that it would be switching to fully distance education.
The principal of Tottenville High School on Staten Island addressed students and parents in a letter, detailing a decision that was due to variables “beyond our control.”
“To execute the original blended and distance learning plan, Tottenville High School would need a surplus of additional teachers who are simply not currently available. Therefore, in order to provide our students with a safe learning environment and an inclusive standards-based curriculum, we have no choice but to set up virtual learning classes with in-person supervision ” , wrote director Gina Battista.
Despite the last-minute upheaval at the start of the year, Battista told families the school would continue to work on a plan to get students back to the building as soon as possible.
Daily percentage of positive tests by New York region
With all of New York State in a phase of reopening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is focused on daily monitoring test results in each region to identify potential hot spots before they emerge. Here is the latest tracking data by region. For the latest county-wide statewide results, click here