New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Saturday public schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year as the city battles the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
“Having to tell you that we cannot bring our schools back for the remainder of this school year is painful, but I can also tell you it is the right thing to do,” he told a news conference.
De Blasio had ordered public schools shut beginning March 16 to curb the spread of the disease, with an initial goal of reopening by April 20.
But the mayor said it soon became clear that date goal was unrealistic as the city emerged as a major U.S. coronavirus hot spot.
The city closed its public schools on March 16 as the virus continued its rapid spread.
Families lacking computers or laptops are being loaned city-owned devices for use in online learning; 175,000 have already been distributed.
The citywide closing affects 1.1 million students in what is by far the country’s largest public school district.