New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that New York City public schools "can and should" be kept open since they have partially reopened earlier this month – announcing that recent testing showed just a 0.68 percent coronavirus positivity rate in schools.

De Blasio said that between Dec. 7 and 23, nearly 100,000 tests were taken from students and staff, and the rate was 0.68 percent.

"Look at the amazing success we've had in our schools, keeping them safe," Hizzoner said. "Clearly New York City public schools one of the safest places to be in all of New York City."

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The Big Apple has struggled to fully open its schools, partially opening them at the beginning of the school year to allow for a few days a week of in-person learning for students. 

It then closed them again in November amid a surge in cases in the city, before partially reopening in December after significant pressure from parents. While the city’s opening is significantly less than what has opened in Europe and other parts of America, where schools opened in full, it is a success compared to a number of major cities that have stuck to a 100% remote learning schedule.

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However, both de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have warned that a new shutdown could be coming within days amid statistics above NYC’s desired metrics, raising questions as to whether schools could be locked up once again.

De Blasio said that would be up to Albany, but he believes that schools can be kept open.

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"I am confident that we can and should keep them open but again the state will make that ultimate decision based on state data and state standards," he said.

Indicators on Tuesday suggested that a shutdown was still a possibility. The city had 182 new hospitalizations, below its 200 metric, but its 3,390 positive or suspected cases and 7.45 percent positivity rate (on a seven-day average) are above the city’s thresholds.

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