NEW YORK (AP) – New York City’s 1.1 million-pupil public school system will be closed for the rest of the school year as the city struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Saturday.
Public schools in New York City, the U.S. epicenter of the virus outbreak, have been closed since March 16. A massive effort to move instruction online has met with mixed success in the city, where many low-income students lack Wi-Fi and devices for connecting to their virtual classrooms.
De Blasio resisted closing schools even as the city recorded its first deaths from the coronavirus, saying he feared that health care workers would have to stay home to care for children and that hundreds of thousands of poor students would go hungry without their free school meals.
Authorities in some other locales, including the states of Virginia and Pennsylvania, have previously announced that schools will be shuttered for the rest of the year.