Some NJ schools shift to remote learning amid virus uptick

Students who attend Clifton schools won't be allowed back in their classrooms until 2021 after an uptick in COVID-19 cases prompted officials to err on the side of caution and halt in-person learning.

"The health of our community is the responsibility of all, including our school district," Superintendent Danny Robertozzi wrote in a letter to parents and students. "This is why we are making the difficult decision to transition to fully remote learning beginning on Monday, November 9, 2020."

Since reopening on Oct. 12, 23 students and 12 staff members in the Passaic County school district have tested positive. 

During that time, four schools had temporary two-week long building closures.

Gov. Phil Murphy addressed the developing situation at a Friday press briefing.

"We deal with these districts one district at a time. We did it when they closed, we're doing it when they reopened two months ago," Murphy said. "And they consult with us every step of the way when they make decisions like that."

Cases are steadily rising across the Garden State, especially in northern counties.

On Friday, Murphy reported more than 2,200 positive cases, 1,300 people in hospitals, and 13 fatalities.

"The ones that we're talking about as of late, Essex, Bergen and Passaic, those are 200 or more each," he said.

On Thursday, Murphy floated the idea of implementing new coronavirus restrictions but did not indicate whether or not that would include another round of business closures or a stay at home order.

He did not elaborate any further on Friday.

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