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NYC Schools To Remain Open, For Now; Restaurants Dealing With Restrictions, Sheriffs Bust Several Illegal Parties

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York City schools will remain open, for now, as students, parents and teachers watch the city's COVID-19 positivity rate.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he's prepared to switch schools to an all-remote format Monday if the rate gets too high.

As CBS2's Christina Fan reported, the city's positivity rate Saturday into Sunday climbed only slightly, giving parents and students hope that schools may remain open.

"We have a struggle ahead right now, I'm not going to lie to you, but I do want to let you know school is open tomorrow and that's a blessing, and every additional day it's open is a blessing," de Blasio said at .

However, city officials are still concerned over the fact that large-scale gatherings and illegal parties are still persisting.

Meanwhile, struggling restaurants are now dealing with the first weekend under the latest round of restrictions.


A typical pandemic weekend often brings Laura Sciuto's Chelsea restaurant more customers than a weekday. But this weekend of new changes, requiring all restaurants to close indoor and outdoor dining at 10 p.m., limits the amount of money coming in for food and drinks.

"It's impacting our businesses, because we might have a party of six, eight people, and they have to leave at 10, because we have to close everything," Sciuto told CBS2.

"The weekend customer, yes. I have to tell them curfew is 10, so the last reservation will be 8," restaurant owner Chole Lin added.

The curfew was updated to curve the rise of COVID-19 cases. Currently, New York City has a seven-day average infection rate of 2.57%.

That's why sheriff's officials continue to crack down on parties, like one where over 200 people were found inside a garage on West 26th Street Saturday morning. Four people were charged will illegally serving liquor and violating emergency orders.

They weren't the only ones. In Brooklyn on Liberty Avenue, an illegal party with more than 185 people was also shut down.

In addition, investigators say a "fight club" was operating inside a crowded Bronx warehouse.

Police arrested 10 people at the unlicensed event dubbed the "Rumble in the Bronx" late Saturday night. The gathering was inside an industrial building on Coster Street in Hunts Point.

The New York City Sheriff said more than 200 people were watching or participating in amateur fights, adding two hand guns, drugs, and unlicensed alcohol were all allegedly found.

Police claim very few people were wearing masks.

The strict enforcement comes as questions loom over the future of the city's schools.

Dozens of parents and kids rallied in Foley Square to keep classrooms open as we near a 3% infection rate, which is the trigger number to close all schools.

"We are all praying that they don't close schools," parent Caitlyn Sullivan said.

"If they're going to close them down, it's probably the right thing to do," said parent Andy Gaynor.

Until then, many New Yorkers are trying to stay positive through the tough and changing storm.

"Tremendous peace of mind to be able to even just get out," one woman said.

Restaurants are still able to offer pickup and delivery until later hours.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said the key to the new restrictions is enforcement, which is why he is encouraging local jurisdictions to make sure everyone is following the rules.


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