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De Blasio Shuts Down Public Schools, To Reschedule Queens Borough President Race, Shut Down Senior Centers

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Photo: Mayor’s office)

March 15, 2020 By Christian Murray

Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that public schools will be shut Monday and will not reopen until April 20 at the earliest.

The announcement was made during a City Hall press conference Sunday afternoon where he also said the Queens Borough President election will no longer take place on March 24 and he will work on plans for it to be rescheduled.

The mayor also announced that senior centers across the city will be closed.

The mayor, who was under significant pressure to close the schools, said that plans were underway for students to begin remote learning on March 23.

He said that he aims to reopen the schools on April 20 but warned that there was a real possibility that public schools will be shut down for the remainder of the school year.

“There is a real possibility that by closing our schools now, we may not have the opportunity to reopen them this school year,” he said.

The mayor was subject to heavy criticism by the United Federation of Teachers and other elected officials prior to the announcement for not closing them.

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee issued a statement early Sunday urging parents not to send their kids to school.

“I strongly urge all Queens families, in no uncertain terms, to keep all children home away from school this week,” Lee said in a statement.

The mayor said Sunday that he was taking other measures to protect the public, while noting that as of 6 p.m. there were 329 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York City. There were 78 cases in Queens, 72 in Manhattan, 53 in Brooklyn, 21 in the Bronx and 16 in Staten Island.

He said he would be ordering hospitals to stop performing elective surgeries as he wants healthcare services focused on combating the virus and on medical emergencies. The mayor also said senior centers will close all activities and will only be food distribution hubs for senior citizens in need of meals.

Additionally, he said that the city will started ticketing bars and restaurants that violate the 50 percent occupancy rule. The city aims to reduce crowds at these establishments by limiting how many patrons are permitted.

The mayor’s decision to suspend the Queens Borough President race comes a day after early voting began for the March 24 race.

Costa Constantinides was quick to put out a statement following the mayor’s announcement.

“The health, safety, and stability of Queens is most important. While we’re grateful to everyone who came out to vote early this weekend, we respect the Mayor’s decision to suspend the special election,” Constantinides said.

(breaking news, story being updated)

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9 Comments

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Mark Tully

Buffalo Bill should have been taking this seriously two weeks ago when we were having the Wuhan Virus For All Parade. But hey, everything good that gets down would have been better if it had been done sooner, so partial credit.

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#dumpdeblasio

Marauding school kids wandering around looking for trouble. Watch crime go up. Some of the schools should be open for parents who need to be at work. They can give them food and access to smart boards to do homework, etc. Not every kid has a computer! DeBlasio acted only because the teachers’ union had threatened him.

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AOC for president 2024

Mar 13, Friday way last day of nyc public school. Conoravirus is already around you. Goes around comes around

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Rodrigo

No Surprise there, it was Expected. In order to Keep our Children safe. But some Children come from really poor families, where the School Lunches are their only Meal of the day! Hopefully, Mayor de Blasio can figure out how to get these meals to all Children who need them!
As for the Borough President’s Special Election we can all Vote as soon as this Pandemic Subsides!
But more importantly, all Governors & Mayors must work closely with the CDC & the WHO, to Keep all of us safe and sidestep Trump!
Trump Stated, he “takes No Responsibility!” for his Actions and Lack of Leadership?? There is something Seriously Wrong with this Creature!
The Best thing Trump can do for the Betterment of our Nation is Immediately Resign, because come November 3rd, he’s “Fired!”

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Common Tax Payer Jr.

Can you imagine if they did something one week before?
Can you imagine that instead of waiting for the virus they followed a protocol?
Can you imagine how much information is hidden?

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Gardens Watcher

Good move to close the schools, Thanks to pressure from Cuomo and Sharon Lee.

The QBPres special election should be canned. Keep the June primary date and let the November election decide the next borough president.

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