Parents in New York City Protest as 33 More Schools Close Under COVID Cluster Plan


NEW YORK (WABC) – New restrictions in COVID-19 hotspots mean more schools are closing in New York City, teachers’ union said the Education Department has notified principals of 33 additional schools that they would be closed from Thursday.The updated announcement Wednesday night came after the DOE compared the maps of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s COVID groups to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s nine zip code groups.

Click here to view cluster maps if you are using the mobile app

One of the reasons the decision to close some schools isn’t right for parents here in Forest Hills is that that zip code isn’t in one of the city’s hot spots.

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Parents protested on Wednesday, unhappy that PS 196 was even being considered for temporary closure.

The zip code only has an infection rate of 1.98%.

While the city reviews postal codes, the state is making its decisions on block-by-block closures.

They believe the workload in this area is high enough to stop the in-person learning here for at least two weeks.

Parents are not happy with this decision.

“I feel safe sending my child to school. Many teachers feel safe sending their children to school. You don’t have this power to tell us what we do on a daily basis. It not only ruins our lives, it ruins the lives of our children. One parent said.

Of the school sites now closed in Brooklyn and Queens, 66 of them are school sites in the red zone, 87 in the orange zone and 16 in the yellow zone. This makes a total of 169 school sites that are temporarily closed.

These closures will last for at least two weeks, after which they will take another look and decide if they should continue distance learning only.

Rules in the red zone:

-Worship houses – 25% capacity, 10 people maximum
-Mass gatherings prohibited
-Non-essential businesses closed
-Take-out dinner only
-Schools closed

Rules in the orange zone:

– Houses of worship – 33% capacity, 25 people maximum
-Mass gatherings – 10 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
-Businesses – Closure of high risk non-essential businesses such as gyms and personal care
-Dinner in the open air only with 4 people maximum per table
– Schools: distance learning only

Rules in the yellow zone

-Houses of worship -50% capacity
-Mass gatherings – 25 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
-Open businesses
-Dinner inside and outside
-Schools – Compulsory weekly student / teacher / staff test for in-person lessons. Testing will begin next week.

Click here Find out if you’re in a COVID hotspot and what new restrictions apply.

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