Thousands of New York City elementary public school students returned to classes Tuesday amid worrisome reports of new coronavirus outbreaks in Brooklyn and Queens and a sudden spike in the testing positivity rate.Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had twice before delayed the resumption of in-classroom education for the nation’s largest public school system after the teachers union threatened to strike over inadequate Covid-19 safeguards and staffing, said Tuesday that the positive test rate had climbed over 3 percent for the first time in weeks.”We have not seen a day like that in quite a while,” de Blasio said.To combat the rise, de Blasio announced that people who refuse to wear masks in the hardest-hit neighborhoods will be fined and private schools in those areas that refuse to adhere to social distancing requirements could be closed.“That will happen aggressively, clearly,” the mayor said. “We don’t want to fine people. If we have to, we will. That will be starting on a large scale today.”The testing rate had been under 1 percent for weeks Of late, though, the New York City health department has reported that the coronavirus was once against spreading at “an alarming rate,” mostly in neighborhoods that are home


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