Coronavirus: Governor Cuomo says schools in New York state can reopen

ByEyewitness News KTRK logo
Friday, August 7, 2020
Governor Cuomo says schools in NY state can reopen
Governor Cuomo says schools in NY state can reopen

NEW YORK -- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that schools in New York state can reopen in the fall.

He said that every school district in every region is reauthorized to reopen. He added that they will continue to monitor the infection rate leading up to the first day of school.

"It is just great news," Cuomo said. "We are probably in the best situation in the country right now."

The infection rate in the state was at 1% on Friday with 5 deaths.

"If anyone can open schools we can open schools," he said. "That's true for every region in the state, period."

LISTEN: Gov. Cuomo's full teleconference statement on schools

Raw Video: In a briefing by teleconference Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that every school district in every region is authorized to reopen in the fall.

The governor had said last month that even if schools are technically open, he said it's up to parents whether or not they want to send their children. He called on the schools to have at least three question and answer sessions before August 21st to help set parents minds at ease and provide information. He said the Big 5 School Districts should have five sessions.

The Conference of Big 5 School Districts represents the city school districts of New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Yonkers, Albany, Mount Vernon, and Utica.

There will need to be at least one session between the school districts and their teachers.

RELATED: Teachers in NYC protest schools reopening

Governor Cuomo said that in addition to their learning plan, COVID-19 testing procedures for students and staff, and contact tracing components should be on the schools' websites.

Last month, the governor had laid out the formula and the guidelines for how schools can hold classes this fall.

He had said that regions must be in Phase 4, which all are as of August 7, and the daily infection rate must remain below 5% using a 14-day average.

New York Governor Cuomo says reopening schools will be based on data

New York state is also establishing stringent guidelines for how schools can safely reopen.

Those guidelines include face masks when social distancing is not possible, regular cleaning of classrooms, COVID-19 screenings and contact tracing for anyone who gets infected.

Schools will be closed if the infection level rises to 9% or greater before the day school opens. If a region is shut down for education, all schools will have to close, both public and private.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza had unveiled their "Blended Learning" plan for the city's 1.1 million school children.

RELATED: Mayor de Blasio outlines NYC schools reopening plan

De Blasio says that he believes this plan will preserve "health and safety while maintaining an understanding that the best way to educate our kids is in the classroom." He set the threshold for reopening at 3%, not 5%.

The governor was critical of the city's plan however, after saying they submitted more of an outline than an actual plan.

The city education department must submit its plans for its 1,800 individual schools to the state by the end of the day. The city had received an extension from the state.

Parents also have until Friday to notify the city education department if they want their child to have full remote learning this fall.