"It's going to be very hard for a lot of families", the mayor said when announcing his decision, which came after he resisted calls to close the schools over concerns that doing so would leave essential workers with no option but to stay home with their children.
The crisis has hit the New York City police department, which has reported a spike in cases, with 50 officers testing positive - only one, however, has been admitted to hospital. Even just a few days ago, I thought we could get safely into April.
The city Monday sent some supplies it had amassed to hospitals, de Blasio said, including 200,000 N95 masks, 2 million surgical masks and 70,000 face shields. If there are ventilators being produced anywhere in the country, we need to get them to NY.
With the number of cases rising so rapidly, New York City is most acutely feeling that shortage, particularly with ventilators. "The system was blinking red", a United States official said.More news: Christchurch shooting: Brenton Tarrant pleads guilty to attacks in New Zealand
Doctors across NY reported shortage of medical supplies and a lack of protective gear for healthcare workers on the front lines of the outbreak.
De Blasio told a news conference that 400 ventilators now arriving from the federal stockpile will make "a huge difference".
More than 12,000 people have tested positive in the city and nearly 100 have died.
"I cannot be blunt enough: if the president doesn't act, people will die who could have lived otherwise", he said.More news: RRR motion poster: Rajamouli's next is all about 'Rise, Roar, Revolt'
IL governor JB Pritzker warned that states were competing with each other for vital supplies. He also confirmed the state will build four emergency hospitals with the help of the federal government to deal with the need for increased hospital capacity.
The total number of cases in NY stood Sunday at 15,168, including 4,812 new cases.
"The surgeon general is right". "Right now, we are a third of the cases in the country; that's going to get worse".More news: The Mandalorian: Michael Biehn To Play A Bounty Hunter