Schools In Kiryas Joel Shut Down By Health Department

KIRYAS JOEL, NY — All schools in Kiryas Joel have been ordered to shut down because of spiking coronavirus infections.

The order by Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman, issued Monday, goes into effect immediately and affects all public, private and religious schools and educational facilities in the village of Kiryas Joel and/or the town of Palm Tree.

Schools will not be able to reopen for at least two weeks and cannot resume operations without approval from the Orange County Department of Health, according to the order.

Schools not in Palm Tree and Kiryas Joel, but which have students whose primary residence is in those municipalities are also included in the order.

To reopen, Gelman said, the schools' seven-day rolling average for percent of positive coronavirus tests must be reduced to below 9 percent. According to the state Department of Health, the town of Palm Tree has a three-day positivity rate of 27.6 percent, the highest number of active cases in the state. The state-mandated positive rate for which schools must be closed is 9 percent.

The order also prohibits transportation to the affected schools.

This is a developing story. Check back with Patch for updates.

This article originally appeared on the Mid Hudson Valley Patch