Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said on Friday that public schools would remain open, even as three more schools closed for the day after coronavirus cases were reported there.
“There are three pillars to protecting this city and the long-term health and safety of our people: Our schools, our mass transit and our health care system,” Mr. de Blasio said. “Those three are interrelated deeply. You take one out of the equation and it affects the others. My goal is to keep all three of those going.”
New York is the country’s largest school system, with 1.1 million students, about 114,000 of them homeless. Closings could have a severe effect on parents who will need to find child care, and on the many students who depend on the cafeteria for food and the school for shelter.
The Los Angeles and San Diego school districts said they were canceling school beginning on Monday, affecting more than 750,000 students in Southern California.
The Los Angeles public school district is the second-largest in the United States, with 670,000 students. The decision is the latest in a slew of similar moves across the country affecting more than six million students.
All public schools, and many if not all private schools, in Illinois, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, Washington State, Oregon, Kentucky, and New Mexico were told to close beginning next week. The Houston Independent School District, the largest school district in Texas, also said it was closing for two weeks.
In Los Angeles, about 80 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunches, and just under 20,000 are homeless at some point during the school year. The district is also the second-largest employer in California’s largest county.