Two schools in the Bronx are set to reopen Friday after a student reported testing positive for the new coronavirus, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said Thursday night.
The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology and South Bronx Preparatory, which are located on East 145th Street in Mott Haven and share a building, were closed Thursday after the student's claim, but the schools chancellor said in the evening that the student did not in fact test positive for the virus.
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The schools will reopen and follow a normal schedule Friday, Carranza said.
Because the city could not immediately confirm the test result, officials closed the schools and cleaned and disinfected them.
"It was a tough decision because we did not have that confirmation, but out of an abundance of caution it was the right thing to do to close the school," Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a news conference Thursday.
"We want our schools to remain open. We intend for our schools to remain open," the mayor added.
Still, a number of school activities will be moved online or canceled, the mayor said, as the outbreak of the virus worsens.
"That includes PSAL activities, athletic activities, games and practices, assemblies, parent-teacher conferences, PTA meetings, and school plays and recitals," de Blasio said.
Even as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on gatherings of 500 or more people, schools, along with mass transit, were exempted from the measure, and the mayor says he intends to avoid any widespread or long-term closures.
"Where do our children go? And if our children have nowhere to go, then their parents can't go to work, and that includes a lot of parents we depend on, first responders, health care professionals. It's a very slippery slope," de Blasio said.
Still, pressed on whether mass school closures could eventually be on the table, the mayor said the city will be ready for anything.
"We are going to do our damndest to keep the schools open. We are going to scenario everything," de Blasio said.
Although the public school system will stay open, the Archdiocese of New York announced that Catholic elementary schools in Manhattan, the Bronx, and on Staten Island will be closed next week.
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