New York governor closes schools in coronavirus hot spots

Students wait in line for a temperature check before their first day of in person school in Brooklyn, on Oct 1, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered schools to close beginning on Tuesday (Oct 6) in several coronavirus "hot spots" around the state, including parts of the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.

The announcement brings forward a plan by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to close schools in 11 neighbourhoods beginning on Wednesday after coronavirus test positivity rates rose above 3 per cent in those areas for seven days in a row.

"I am not going to recommend or allow any New York City family to send their child to a school that I wouldn't send my child," Cuomo said at a news conference on Monday.

He said the state would take over enforcement of social distancing rules from local authorities in the hot spots.

Cuomo said he was also concerned about similar rising coronavirus rates in Rockland and Orange counties north of New York City.

New York faced one of the earliest and most devastating outbreaks of the novel coronavirus in the spring, but has since managed to largely curtail its spread.

On Monday, 1.01 per cent of coronavirus tests statewide were reported to be positive, Cuomo said.

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