New York City remains below threshold, keeping schools open

New York City school buildings remain open through Wednesday as the city's coronavirus test results stay under the limit that would force a shutdown.

On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the seven-day rolling average of positive cases stood at 2.74%, which is below the benchmark of 3%.

"Everyone has been wearing their masks in the school community," said de Blasio during a briefing from City Hall. "Everyone has been taking the precaution. Parents have been keeping kids home if they are sick. All the things we have been asking people to do they have been doing. We have to keep doing that to keep our city moving forward."

About 280,000 of the city's 1 million-plus public school students are attending school in-person part of the time, while the rest are learning remotely five days a week. 

Since the start of in-person learning, about 980 students and 1,150 teachers and staff have tested positive for the virus, forcing the temporary closure of about 550 classrooms.

Asked on Monday if the city should be flexible about the 3% threshold, de Blasio said, "We set a standard. We asked everyone to trust it and believe in it. It's important to keep consistency with that."

There were 1,117 new coronavirus cases reported in NYC as of Tuesday. Statewide, the virus continued to claim victims at a rate unseen since the spring. Nearly 2,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday, the state announced. That's the most since early June, up from a low of 410 on Sept. 5.

Over the past seven days, the state has averaged 4,500 positive tests per day. The state's hospitals and nursing homes have reported 185 deaths over the past seven days.

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