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  • Coronavirus pandemic

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionSome pupils in Brooklyn took classes outside in September

New York City is closing its schools as cases of Covid-19 shoot up again.

The order affects about 300,000 children in the city and comes into effect on Thursday.

New York was the epicentre of the pandemic in the US in the spring but had successfully battled the virus.

The decision was made after the positive Covid-19 test rate surpassed the 3% threshold, officials say. Nearly 35,000 New York residents have died from Covid-19.

A letter from New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza released on Wednesday informed parents that all schools would close and classrooms would immediately shift to online learning "until further notice".

"You will hear from your principal shortly about next steps for you and your student. Please note that this is a temporary closure, and school buildings will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so."

New York state has the largest school system in the country.

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The closure of the city's public schools is the latest measure amid attempts to curb a fresh outbreak of cases.

Bars and restaurants must be takeaway-only after 22:00 and parties at private residences are capped at 10 people.

The decision to close the schools is in contrast with measures in Europe, where businesses have closed but schools largely remain open.

The move, which represents a major backslide for the city's' coronavirus recovery, has also left parents scrambling for last-minute childcare options.