New York City announced Sunday that it will close public schools Monday and states and cities are ordering bars and restaurants to close to encourage social distancing to try to stem the outbreak of the coronavirus as U.S. cases climbed well past 3,000.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday evening that Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk and New York City schools will close this week. Cuomo also said in a statement that New York City must put a plan in place to make sure that children who rely on school meals will still get fed and that parents, especially health care workers and first responders, will be provided child care.
In a news conference Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said schools will close Monday and remain closed at least until April 20. The mayor said there is a chance schools could remain closed for the rest of the school year.
The announcement came after widespread calls to close the schools and protests from "furious" teachers who thought it was irresponsible to keep schools open.
"It is time to take more dramatic measures," the mayor said, adding that he knows "the full cost of shutting our schools."
The decision came on a day when states and cities across the country took more dramatic measures to contain the coronavirus.