Officials announced on Wednesday that New York City Public Schools, the nation’s largest school district, will shut down after the city reached a 3% COVID-19 testing positivity rate.

The decision comes as coronavirus cases in the United States surged to record highs in recent weeks, with the country reporting 162,000 new cases and 1,700 deaths for Tuesday. “As of November 19, 2020, all school buildings are closed until further notice, and all students are learning remotely five days a week,” the district announced. The schools will remain closed for at least two weeks.

The district’s policy was to shutter schools if the New York City’s coronavirus testing positivity rate equals or exceeds 3% using a seven-day rolling average.  New York City first shuttered its schools back in March at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Shortly after, the city became the world’s epicenter of the disease, reaching a peak of 815 confirmed and probable deaths in a single day on April 7.

New York City public schools to close again as coronavirus cases rise


Editorial credit: Ingus Kruklitis /