You are reading

De Blasio Shuts Down Public Schools, To Reschedule Queens Borough President Race, Shut Down Senior Centers

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Photo: Mayor’s office)

March 15, 2020 By Christian Murray

Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that public schools will be shut Monday and will not reopen until April 20 at the earliest.

The announcement was made during a City Hall press conference Sunday afternoon where he also said the Queens Borough President election will no longer take place on March 24 and he will work on plans for it to be rescheduled.

The mayor also announced that senior centers across the city will be closed.

The mayor, who was under significant pressure to close the schools, said that plans were underway for students to begin remote learning on March 23.

He said that he aims to reopen the schools on April 20 but warned that there was a real possibility that public schools will be shut down for the remainder of the school year.

“There is a real possibility that by closing our schools now, we may not have the opportunity to reopen them this school year,” he said.

The mayor was subject to heavy criticism by the United Federation of Teachers and other elected officials prior to the announcement for not closing them.

Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee issued a statement early Sunday urging parents not to send their kids to school.

“I strongly urge all Queens families, in no uncertain terms, to keep all children home away from school this week,” Lee said in a statement.

The mayor said Sunday that he was taking other measures to protect the public, while noting that as of 6 p.m. there were 329 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York City. There were 78 cases in Queens, 72 in Manhattan, 53 in Brooklyn, 21 in the Bronx and 16 in Staten Island.

He said he would be ordering hospitals to stop performing elective surgeries as he wants healthcare services focused on combating the virus and on medical emergencies. The mayor also said senior centers will close all activities and will only be food distribution hubs for senior citizens in need of meals.

Additionally, he said that the city will started ticketing bars and restaurants that violate the 50 percent occupancy rule. The city aims to reduce crowds at these establishments by limiting how many patrons are permitted.

The mayor’s decision to suspend the Queens Borough President race comes a day after early voting began for the March 24 race.

Costa Constantinides was quick to put out a statement following the mayor’s announcement.

“The health, safety, and stability of Queens is most important. While we’re grateful to everyone who came out to vote early this weekend, we respect the Mayor’s decision to suspend the special election,” Constantinides said.

(breaking news, story being updated)

email the author: [email protected]

One Comment

Click for Comments 
Mandy

Dear Mayor,

We need to lockdown the entire city to minimize the spreading for at least 14 days.

This will benefit all the people and the businesses.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Gunman who fired shots at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City remains at large: NYPD

Police from the 114th Precinct in Astoria and PSA 9 are continuing their search for a gunman who allegedly opened fire at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City last month.

The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 18, when officers responded to a 911 call and a ShotSpotter activation for multiple shots fired at 21-25 35 Ave. at the Ravenswood Houses NYCHA complex just after 2 a.m., according to authorities.

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.