March 13, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Queens Catholic schools will close next week, amid rising numbers of coronavirus cases in the city.
All Catholic academies and parish schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn — which covers both Queens and Brooklyn — will close during the week of March 16 to March 20, the Diocese announced today.
However, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any schools within the Diocese jurisdiction, according to the announcement.
“The decision to close schools was made out of an abundance of caution due to the rapidly changing situation surrounding the Coronavirus and after further consultation with representatives of city and state agencies,” the Diocese said in a statement.
Teachers will utilize Monday to develop remote learning plans and students should have access to online learning the next day, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Chadzutko said.
“While we understand that not all families may have access to online learning, we have directed all academies to utilize alternative instructional processes,” Chadzutko added.
In addition, each individual school’s leadership will follow CDC guidelines to deep clean and sanitize the school buildings.
The Archdiocese of New York — which resides over Catholic schools in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and upstate New York — announced yesterday that its schools would close next week as well.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said public schools will continue to remain open.
Yesterday, he declared a state of emergency in the city as the number of coronavirus cases hit 95 — with 17 positive in Queens — but remained strong on the position to keep public schools running.
“We are going to fight tooth and nail to protect our school system,” he said at a Thursday evening press conference.