Public schools in New York are to close in a bid to slow the unrelenting spread of COVID-19 infections in the city. The reluctant move comes as deaths from the virus across the whole country have reached nearly 250,000.
The school closures are a blow to New York's prized recovery. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the measure was being taken "out of an abundance of caution".
"No one is happy about this decision. We all, in fact, are feeling very sad about this decision because so much good work has been put into keeping the schools open.
But unfortunately, as of today, on our seven-day rolling average for coronavirus positivity, New York City has hit exactly 3.00%. And as a result, we do need to close our schools for the coming days", de Blasio said.
Meanwhile medical groups are urging President Trump to share information with president-elect Joe Biden.
Dr. Susan Bailey is president of the American Medical Association.
"We got together and yesterday wrote to President Trump asking for a rapid and complete transmission of health information related to COVID-19 to the Biden transition team so that we can get to work as quickly as possible to fight the pandemic", she said.
Biden who later took part in a virtual meeting with frontline workers promised to make funding to fight the virus a priority.
"Congress has already passed that money. It's sitting there. It's available right now. But we're unwilling ... some of our friends in the Senate side are unwilling to spend the money......I'm hoping that the reason why my friends on the other side have not stepped up to do something is because of their fear of retribution from the president. And hopefully when he's gone, they'll be more willing to do what they know should be done."
And the state of Ohio is upping testing and introducing a curfew. It's the latest to implement targeted social restrictions in attempts to beat back rising case numbers and reduce pressure on hospital resources.