Yonkers mayor: If COVID-19 spikes continue, schools will be forced to switch to remote learning
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said based on the trajectory of new cases, it is possible certain zip codes may become designated red zones - meaning school closures and new restrictions.
The state Health Department reported almost 2,400 new cases in Westchester this week. The average infection rate, which was in the area of 1% for a while, has climbed to 4.26%
This spike pushed the school district to send a letter home to parents Wednesday saying, "In preparation for random testing in schools, we need your help now. We ask for your consent to permit our trained medical personnel to administer a COVID-19 test to your child."
Spano said he expects areas of Yonkers, including zip codes 10701, 10703 and 10705, will become designated red zones, which means schools will have to close.
Spano says with 40 public schools, 27,000 students and thousands of teachers and staff, enforcing different rules at different schools may be too confusing and that closing all schools could be an option.
"If we have one or two or three schools all go into yellow, let's say, it will probably be more effective for everyone concerned that we do remote learning, but we're not at that point just yet," said Spano.
Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler says while cases are going up around the region, they aren't because of school attendance.
Spano says they'll continue to monitor what is going on around the city and take it from there.
As of now, the state has not designated any areas of Yonkers as red, orange or yellow zones, so everything will continue as normal.
There's been no indication of when that announcement may come.