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De Blasio announces NYC schools will close due to coronavirus

De Blasio announces NYC schools will close due to coronavirus
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New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioYang: 'Defund the police is the wrong approach for New York City' Overnight Health Care: CDC says vaccinated people can take masks off indoors and outdoors | Missouri abandons voter-approved Medicaid expansion | White House unveils B plan to hire public health workers De Blasio eats Shake Shack during briefing to promote vaccine deal: 'Mmm, vaccinations' MORE announced Sunday that schools in New York City would close on Monday as the city deals with the spread of the coronavirus, which has sickened thousands of people across the country.

At a press conference, the mayor bowed to days of public pressure and followed the lead of school districts across the country. It wasn't initially clear when city public schools would reopen.

"We will make a first attempt to restart our schools on Monday, April 20th," de Blasio said, adding that take-home meal services would be available at New York City public schools for the next five days.

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At Sunday's press conference the mayor also announced that the total number of deaths in the city had risen to 5, all of which had occurred in the past three days. Several of those killed were suffering from pre-existing conditions when diagnosed with the coronavirus, de Blasio said.

The mayor also added that he would sign an executive order Monday directing hospitals in the city to cancel all elective surgical procedures as they retool their facilities to deal with increasing numbers of sickened New Yorkers.

De Blasio had initially resisted calls to fully close the schools citing the thousands of children who rely on public schools for daily meals, telling CNN earlier in the day that public safety issues could also arise.

"I'm very reticent to shut down schools for a variety of reasons," he explained. "Not just because that's where a lot of kids get their only good meals, where they get adult supervision, especially teenagers, who otherwise would be out on the streets

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) had called for the city to make the move earlier in the day.

“Bureaucracies do not adjust quickly, but sometimes they have to, and this is one of those times that they have to, and I want them to sit down, figure it out,” he told reporters, according to the New York Post.