This is our daily update following the reopening of NYC schools for Monday, November 17th, 2020.

Here's the latest:

Though Mayor Bill de Blasio has consistently warned that a full-scale shutdown of New York City public schools will happen should the seven-day rolling average for COVID-19 positivity rates hit 3% or more, the Archdiocese of New York announced on Monday that it is not adhering to that standard.

In an email sent to parents by diocese superintendent Michael J. Deegan, 142 Catholic schools in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island will remain open even if the city passes the mayor's 3% threshold. (The Diocese of Brooklyn, which also oversees Queens, will be following the Archdiocese's lead, keeping all 69 of its schools open even if the citywide rate reaches 3%.) Deegan cited the strict cleaning protocols that have been instituted since Catholic schools reopened on September 9th. As outlined in its reopening plan, the diocese has adopted a blended learning strategy -- with some students working remote some days while other students attend school in person -- as a way of reducing the number of students inside Catholic school buildings. Catholic school students are now subject to wearing masks, having their temperatures taken, and using hand sanitizer as part of reopening.

“Catholic schools operate independently of New York City public schools,” Deegan wrote. “In the event of a closure of public schools by the mayor’s office, our Catholic schools will remain open until our Health and Safety Task Force, working with officials from the New York State Department of Health and the governor’s office determines otherwise.”

The decision represents a departure from March, when diocese officials were in lockstep with city education officials in closing schools together on March 16th. This time, diocese officials will close schools on a case-by-case basis.

The email comes days after the diocese reversed its decision to close nearly all Catholic schools in Staten Island after the majority of the borough was deemed a yellow zone by Governor Andrew Cuomo. In an updated statement, diocese officials said they will remain open until they are "legally required to close or the Health and Safety Task Force of the Superintendent of Schools determines it is unsafe for our students and staff."

But despite the Archdiocese deviating from de Blasio's plan, the schools will still have to adhere to mandates imposed by Cuomo, who can mandate any school closure. He did so in the hot zones in Brooklyn and Queens, enraging officials from the NY State Catholic Conference, which said the diocese has not had "any significant COVID issues in our Catholic schools anywhere in the state."