Uptick in coronavirus cases threatens to close schools in New York City


NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (ABC NEWS) — The coronavirus has now taken more than a million lives worldwide, and one-fifth of those deaths were in the United States. More than 250,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19.

A new study has found that cases in children have risen from two percent to 10 percent since the spring.

As New York City children go back to school for the first time, the alarming rise in cases is threatening to close the schools again.

The city is reporting its COVID-19 positivity rate ticking up and it is above three percent for the first time since June. New clusters have been traced to nine zip codes. 

“If the schools are not safe, I’m not going to allow them to operate. Period,” New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The city is ready to close schools as soon as next week if that number stays above three percent. 

The potential setback comes as COVID-19 cases in children have risen from two percent to 10 percent nationwide over the last five months, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics/ Children’s Hospital Association.

One of those children is 12-year-old Elizabeth McNew from Atlantic Beach, Florida who passed away after a 10 day battle with the virus. 

“Elizabeth came to me and said ‘I’m not breathing right mommy,’” said Elda McNew, Elizabeth’s mother.

A new report from the New York Times says over the summer, White House officials tried to pressure the CDC to play down the risks of sending children back to school.

Olivia Troye, a former aide to the vice president, sat in on task force meetings. 

“It was people within the White House, specifically tasking more junior level staff to try to find alternate data, data to fit the narrative that they wanted, which was it only affects people above the age of 75 and it doesn’t affect younger school children. It was all part of the narrative that we need to open up these schools,” Troye said.

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