Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday committed to reopening New York City schools in September, saying that officials would mandate the number of children permitted in each building as well as deep cleanings, constant use of face coverings, and hand sanitizers.

"I understand parents want answers," he said, during a press conference. "Schools will be opening in September. Each school will have a number — that's the maximum number of kids that can be in that school with social distancing."

He added: "We're full steam ahead for September."

"We know there's just sheer logistical challenges with schools that were overcrowded before the coronavirus and now have to practice social distancing," he added. "But we're going to make it work to the maximum in each school."

Public schools across New York City closed on March 16th, shifting classroom instruction to remote learning for the city's 1.1 million public school students. The experience was met with mixed results.

Richard Carranza, the city schools chancellor who attended Thursday's briefing, said he was in communication with state authorities and that he expected to submit a reopening plan to them sometime this summer.

Following de Blasio's morning announcement, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he has final authority over the decision to reopen schools. Dani Lever, a spokesperson for Cuomo, reiterated the governor's powers on school reopening saying, "all such decisions are made by state government and not local government."

Lever added, "Of course the state consults with local stakeholders and when it comes to opening schools in New York City we will consult with parents, teachers, health officials and local elected officials — but the Governor has said any determination is premature at this point and we will need to see how the virus develops."

On Thursday, Carranza is expected to meet with principals, continuing a conversation he began several weeks ago about how schools will operate during the COVID-19 outbreak come September. In June, he wrote a letter to principals preparing them for the possibility of a rolling start as well as split scheduling that allows for better social distancing. He said at the time that students would engage in "blended learning," a combination of online and in-person instruction.

A recent Department of Education survey of more than 400,000 parents and students found that 75 percent want city schools to reopen. The results were part of a series of questions delving into the comfort level by parents and students, which also found an average 56% of parents of kids from grade 3 to 12 found they were very or mostly comfortable with their child wearing a mask to school every day. The survey found that 43% of parents of kids in grades Pre-K to 2nd grade are very or mostly comfortable.

When it came to preferred schedules, 72% or parents said they are okay with sending their kids back so long as they're presented with attendance options, be it learning on a staggered schedule or from home every day. Meantime, 76% of students and 81% of parents surveyed agree that math, science, social studies, and an English Language Arts program are priority subjects for in-person learning over physical education, art and other electives. When it comes to at-home instruction, 55% of students and 69% of parents regularly want paper packets, live instruction, and one-on-one tutoring.

Classrooms typically have a maximum of around 30 students. De Blasio said that school officials will use "every conceivable space" in a school building to ensure that proper social distancing will be enforced to mitigate exposure.

"Some schools will be able to have all of their kids when you factor in the total use of space, and that probably every kid will not be there to say the least," said de Blasio, adding that a staggered schedule is being worked out with the teacher's unions, with more details expected to come out in a few weeks.

Update 4:20 p.m.: The head of the United Federation of Teachers thinks de Blasio is getting ahead of himself when it comes to school reopening.

"Our final decision about moving ahead in September depends upon medical and scientific assessments concerning the virus and its containment. The changing nature of these assessments means we must wait to make that decision closer to the first day of school even though we know that delay creates difficulties for parents and educators alike," said Michael Mulgrew, president of the UFT.

He added that decisions must be made collectively, involving the city, UFT, and Council of School Supervisors & Administrators. "If we move ahead with a blended learning model, the DOE, the CSA and the UFT have agreed to adopt a citywide package of protocols relying on medical guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Every school would be required to adopt these protocols, and the DOE would supply the necessary materials, training and building upgrades necessary to meet these standards.”

The story has been updated to include the results of the survey in greater detail.