New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is holding a press conference Thursday as public schools close to in-person learning. The mayor announced Wednesday afternoon that the city’s seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate hit 3%, triggering the shut downs.

“New York City has hit exactly 3.0% and as a result we do need to close our schools for the coming days,” de Blasio said at a press conference. 

How to watch New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press conference today

  • What: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio holds press conference as public schools close to in-person learning 
  • Date: Thursday, November 19, 2020
  • Time: 10 a.m. ET 
  • Location: New York City 
  • Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device 

Parents and school leaders were already put on notice as the coronavirus infection rate inched closer to the 3% threshold. That measurement was established in the summer with the teacher’s union in order to reach an agreement to open schools in the first place, CBS New York reports. 

There’s renewed pressure to change the 3% threshold. But the teachers union doesn’t appear to be willing to budge.

“It was put forth by the city’s doctors, and confirmed by the doctors we are working with, that that is the appropriate number,” United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said.

Testing in schools will be central to reopening, but other than that the city and state have not come together to come up with a plan.

Inside schools, the infection rate is well below half a percent.

“If we use a hard and fast light switch on and off, I wonder if we will be back before 2021,” said parent Jennifer Tuttle.

Some 300,000 students attend school in-person. Schools will now be closed at least until after Thanksgiving. 

Note: Streaming plans are subject to change 

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