Governor Andrew Cuomo’s abrupt upheaval of the city’s plans to shut schools to contain increasing COVID-19 rates in Brooklyn and Queens meant that thousands of educators and families waited well into Wednesday to find out whether their schools would open at all Thursday.

As of 6:30 p.m., the city’s Department of Education still had not released guidance on which schools would be shut down under Cuomo’s plan, which has a much wider scope than Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initial closure of about 300 private and public schools and about 100 childcare centers in 9 ZIP codes with increasing COVID-19 rates.

[UPDATE] Mayor Bill de Blasio released the look-up tool after 8 p.m.

On Thursday, New York City is set to begin enforcing a series of state-mandated shutdowns of businesses and schools, along with new restrictions on gatherings, in parts of South Brooklyn and Far Rockaway and central Queens, de Blasio said at his press briefing Wednesday.

But details of the biggest shutdown -- that of hundreds of schools after de Blasio has repeatedly hailed the victory of completing the reopening of the country’s biggest school district last week -- remained unavailable as of Wednesday evening. Educators were sent an email asking them not to communicate with families until official guidance was issued:

Cuomo announced his plan Tuesday as a system of restrictions, including school closures, organized by three concentric geographic zones that will last for at least 14 days or until cases and positivity rates decline. Cuomo posted maps of the south central Brooklyn zone, and the Forest Hills and Rockaways zones, but the boundaries of the maps were not clear enough to understand how the lives of families and businesses would be directly affected.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who has pushed for all-remote learning for the public school system, said Cuomo’s maps were difficult to understand as zone boundaries appeared to slice through the middle of city blocks.

“Here are some problems because we still see lines, cutting through blocks. That doesn't make any sense,” Williams said in a press conference Wednesday. “If we are going to use zip code, perhaps we can get a little bit more granular with some of the zip code numbers that come after that, so we can be clearer. Clear messaging is of the utmost importance right now. And it is what people need.”

And while de Blasio’s press briefing included a list of 22 ZIP codes now affected by school closures, his list also noted that not every school in those ZIP codes on the list would close.

“Our families have to make plans for childcare and their lives and they deserve clear timely communication so they can plan,” said principal Michael Perlberg of Ditmas Park’s MS 839, which is in Cuomo’s orange zone though it had not been on de Blasio’s 9 ZIP codes of closure. “It puts principals in such a tough position.”

With hours to go until schools are set to open for in-person classes Thursday, City Hall and the governor’s office remained silent in the face of questions about which schools are closing. De Blasio had said the city would launch an online tool for residents to check if the new restrictions affect their addresses, but that too was not available by Wednesday evening.

One parent, Jane Diina, was still awaiting information on whether her son’s special education school in Bergen Beach would close. Her daughter’s school was shuttered Wednesday as part of the first wave of closures, which sent her second-grader into tears.

“I feel like as a parent a total failure because I don’t know what to tell her at this point,” Diina said. “And not being able to have your child trust you is probably the worst feeling in the world, and not knowing what guidance to give them. Or what tomorrow brings.”