What to KnowNYC is eyeing new shutdowns for the first time in months to try to contain new clusters; in some parts, positivity rates have hit 6 percentThe largest cluster of four neighborhoods has been dubbed “The Ocean Parkway Cluster;” if no progress is made on positivity rates by Monday evening, non-essential businesses could be closed along with day caresOne of New York City’s largest high schools told parents on Saturday its pivoting to all-remote learning days before classes were set to resume in person
More than 1,000 New Yorkers tested positive for COVID-19 in a single day Friday, marking the first time since June 5 the state has seen a daily number that high.
The number of positive tests reported daily in the state has been steadily inching up in recent weeks, a trend possibly related to increasing numbers of businesses reopening, college campuses reopening and children returning to school. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday there were 1,005 positive cases tallied on the previous day out of 99,953 tests, for a 1% positive rate.
From late July through the start of September the state was seeing an average of around 660 people test positive per day. In the seven-day period that ended Friday, the state had averaged 817 positive tests per day.
Cuomo didn’t comment on the 1,000-case threshold in his daily COVID-19 update, but reiterated his call for vigilance.
“It’s vital that New Yorkers continue to practice the basic behaviors that drive our ability to fight COVID-19 as we move into the fall and flu season,” Cuomo said in a prepared release. “Wearing masks, socially distancing and washing hands make a critical difference, as does the deliberate enforcement of state guidance by local governments.”
The Health Department said that there will be regular inspections of all non-public schools within the cluster area and adjacent zip codes, and enforcement staff will be increased in order to ensure that mask and social distancing compliance remains in place. NBC New York’ Tracie Strahan reports.
That number of daily positive tests in a state of more than 19 million people still puts New York in a much better position than many other states. And it is worlds better than the situation in the state in April, when the number of positive tests per day routinely topped 9,000, even though tests then were hard to get and people were being encouraged not to seek one unless they were gravely ill.
The higher number of positive tests lately could be related to more people seeking tests — or being required to take them — with the start of the academic year.
Still, the uptick has been a cause for concern. In New York City, health officials have sounded alarms about a rising number of cases in certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens where many private religious schools opened for in-person instruction in early September, warning that those communities could see severe restrictions on public gatherings reinstated if current trends continue.
Public school students in New York City’s elementary, middle and high schools are set to resume in-person instruction next week Sept. 29 and Oct. 1.
Days before the long awaited return to in-person learning, one of the city’s largest high school announced on Saturday it would pivot to all-remote instruction.
The principal of Tottenville High School on Staten Island addressed students and parents in a letter, detailing a decision that was due to variables “out of our control.”
“To execute the original plan of blended and remote learning, Tottenville High School would need an excess of additional teachers that is just not presently available. Therefore, in order to provide our students with a safe learning environment and a standard-based inclusive curriculum, we have no choice but to implement virtual learning classrooms with in-person supervision,” Principal Gina Battista wrote.
Despite the last minute shake-up at the start of the year, Battista told families the school would continue to work on a plan to bring students back to the building as soon as possible.
Daily Percentage of Positive Tests by New York Region
With all of New York state in some phase of reopening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is shifting his focus to monitoring test results on a daily basis across each region to identify potential hotspots before they emerge. Here’s the latest tracking data by region. For the latest county-level results statewide, click here