New York City schools closed for rest of year amid pandemic

Coronavirus

FILE – In this March 31, 2020 file photo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at the USTA Indoor Training Center where a 350-bed temporary hospital will be built in New York. De Blasio is calling for a national enlistment program for doctors and nurses, on Friday, April 3, to handle an expected surge in coronavirus cases in New York and other places around the country. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

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.ADVERTISEMENT

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.

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