NYC school buildings closed until end of school year, mayor says

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FILE – In this March 31, 2020 file photo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at the USTA Indoor Training Center where a 350-bed temporary hospital will be built in New York. De Blasio is calling for a national enlistment program for doctors and nurses, on Friday, April 3, to handle an expected surge in coronavirus cases in New York and other places around the country. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

(CNN) — New York City public school buildings will remain closed through the end of the school year because of coronavirus concerns, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday at a press conference.

Students will continue to receive remote instruction, according to the city Department of Education.

Students who have requested digital devices, but have yet to receive them, will get them by the end of the month, city officials said.

De Blasio encouraged people to consider September as the new era. Children are under trauma at this time, he said, and it’s best to not bring them back to school before then.

He said he made the decision Friday night after speaking with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease official.

De Blasio laid out a five-point plan to help students in the nation’s largest school system.

• Complete deliveries of internet-enabled digital devices by the end of April. That will mean getting 240,000 more devices to children over the next few weeks.

• Expand the parental help line’s hours and technical support staffing.

• Launch new, free online activities and programs.

• Graduate students in their senior years, about 75,000 of them. De Blasio said a full plan will be out next week.

• Get ready to reopen in September, with provisions to combat learning loss and support mental health.

De Blasio said the new year will have to be the greatest in the city’s history.

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