“The closures are not something we take lightly because of their impact on people’s lives, whether you work in one of the companies involved or your child goes to one of the schools there,” so it’s not an easy decision, ”Chokshi told NY1.
“But we want to find the right balance between acting quickly – that’s one thing we’ve learned about this virus, which is such a formidable foe, if you act faster you can help stop the spread, and that’s why we took these steps we did – but also give people a chance to prepare and acclimatize and make sure they are in the right position for a close, ”he explained .
Chokshi had a message for New Yorkers across town: “We’re concerned.”
He said the steps are needed to stop any further spread. The shutdown will first have to be approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is due to speak to reporters on Monday.
Chokshi explained that the city looks at alert levels in two ways: one is to measure the increase in the number of cases over time and the other is the rate of positivity in a given area.
He expects testing to intensify in neighborhoods upon seeing clusters of coronavirus, which will illustrate the number of people infected and help define what will happen next.
But city council member Mark Treyger told NY1 the mayor had been “very ambiguous” about the city’s hot spots and intended to resolve them.
“There’s a lot of confusion,” Treyger said on “One New York”.
“I think we have a bigger problem than the mayor suggests,” he said.
Treyger said the mayor’s description of COVID-19 “clusters” quickly evolved into a hot spot of nine zip codes, with 11 more areas to watch. He also said senior health officials had not told him anything about a school closing when they were invited to an appeal late last week.
“Something obviously changed from Thursday night to Sunday,” Treyger said.
He also challenged the decision to only close schools in certain neighborhoods.
“I’m very puzzled by this strategy of nine or nearly nine zip codes,” Treyger said of the proposal to close schools in hot areas.
“This virus knows no borders; it doesn’t care about zip code limits. We have a city problem, not just a nine zip code problem, ”he says.
This view echoes the earlier sentiments of New York Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, who initially said the school closures would apply to all buildings and not just some in certain neighborhoods.
“It’s all over town. Most of our students do not attend school exclusively in their neighborhood. There is a lot of transience in our city because we have a lot of choice in our city, ”Carranza told NY1 last week.