Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that the city’s public schools will fully reopen for in-person learning in September.
The mayor announced that “it’s time” for schools to fully open for in-person learning in New York City without a remote option on MSNBC. New York has recovered from COVID-19 in recent months and the city can only be fully recovered once schools fully reopen, he told “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski.
“New York City public schools, one million kids, will be back in their classroom in September. All in person, no remote,” he said. “COVID is plummeting in this city, I’m happy to say, we’re almost to 8 million vaccination doses since day one. And it’s just amazing to see the forward motion right now. You can’t have a full recovery without full strength schools, everyone back sitting in those classrooms, kids learning again.”
De Blasio said New York City set a “gold standard” by following health and safety measures in schools which have reportedly decreased the number of COVID-19 cases. The city has faced its lowest numbers of cases in seven months, the mayor said. (RELATED: Joe Biden Pledges To Reopen Most Schools During First 100 Days Of Presidency)
“We set a gold standard from the very beginning taking the health and safety measures from around the world that we saw worked in schools. Kids had masks on in all of our schools the whole time. Lots of cleaning, lots of ventilation. We layered all of these approaches and it worked really powerfully, we’ve had much lower levels of COVID in our schools.”
“The city’s been getting better now for quite a while, with the lowest COVID positivity for seven months in New York City,” he continued.
Since children are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, de Blasio said “it’s time” for children and staff to return to in-person learning.
“What really worked was to layer on those health and safety measures. We’re going to do that again in September and we know that more and more kids and staff will get vaccinated,” he said. “We have made vaccination available everywhere. It’s time, it’s time to go full strength now.”
De Blasio said he believes COVID-19 cases will continue to go down as vaccination rates go up and therefore the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will change guidelines including mask mandates and social distancing guidelines.
“We have proven we can beat back COVID all over this country and school opens four months from now, so I absolutely believe COVID will continue to go down, vaccinations will go up, recovery will be strong. I think the CDC will be changing those rules quite a bit between now and September. I fundamentally believe by August, the CDC will relax those rules further to recognize the progress we have made in this country.”
New York City’s COVID-19 numbers have been declining with a recorded 908 cases in the past month, NYC Health reported. Over 9 million doses of the vaccine have currently been administered in the city, data shows.