Coronavirus Impact: Mayor De Blasio Mulls Lockdown As NYC Cases Skyrocket

Monday, 16 Mar, 2020

Mayor Bill de Blasio is speaking now. "I want to say at the outset our hearts go out to her family, our condolences to them, and we will do all we can to support this family in this really hard moment".

'This action is necessary to reduce density and mitigate the spread of #COVID19, ' Cuomo said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said several times that he has no plans to shut down the city's public school system, which is the nation's largest public school system serving 1.1 million students.

"When you close, you create a series of additional new problems in terms of health and safety", de Blasio said during a press conference on Saturday.

De Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza were scheduled to speak at 5 p.m. amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The same day, sources told the Advance/SiLive.com a male coach of one of St. Teresa School's basketball teams tested positive, prompting the school to close and disinfect the location. They ordered schools to ramp up cleaning efforts, implored educators to promote regular hand-washing, cancelled school-sponsored trips overseas, began conducting parent conferences remotely, and ordered students and teachers to stay home if they're sick.

"The more tests we take, the more that number will go up", Cuomo said, according to NBC. Their schools have been closed for cleaning but are expected to reopen.

Louisiana, New York and Virginia announced their first deaths related to the novel coronavirus outbreak on Saturday as the USA death toll crept above 51. "There is the ability to close down public transportation", de Blasio said on March 12.

But Dr. Dena Grayson, a researcher and infectious disease expert who works in the private sector, called de Blasio's decision so far to keep schools open "incredibly foolish". Roughly 70% of the city's 1 million district school students are from low-income families, who may struggle to find alternative child care arrangements and who depend on school meals for their children.

United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew also recommends that city public schools be closed.

School attendance dropped to 68 percent on Friday.

In the morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed that an 82-year-old woman with underlying health issues died of the virus on Friday.

Multiple states had already announced they were closing schools.

The mayor didn't elaborate on what a lockdown might entail, but did give some idea last week when the city declared an emergency. In the world of sports, the National Basketball Association on Wednesday became the first of multiple leagues to suspend or postpone seasons due to the outbreak.