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COVID-19: Cuomo Gives New Update As Uncertainty Surrounds Decision On Schools

It is unclear what schools in New York will look like when they reopen in the fall. Photo Credit: ny.gov
It is unclear what schools in New York will look like when they reopen in the fall. Photo Credit: ny.gov

It remains unclear when, how, or if schools will be opening their doors to welcome students into the classrooms in the fall due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a COVID-19 briefing in Manhattan on Monday, July 6 that no decision on the reopening of schools has been announced, and that students will not return to the classroom “until we know it’s safe.”

Cuomo did not specify his definition of what “safe” entailed for students or faculty members.

“We have 700 school districts in the state, and we’ve told all 700 that they must come up with a plan to reopen,” he said. “There are two levels to discuss: how to reopen, and what’s a school look like in this ‘new normal.’”

Previously, Cuomo said that districts have been instructed that a hybrid-learning model is likely the future, which would include in-person learning and remote education options.

The New York State Department of Education and Board of Regents earlier this year launched a “school reopening task force” comprised of educators statewide.

“We would like to (reopen),” Cuomo said. “Nobody even knows the effects this (virus) will have on students and the socialization of young children.

“We want the kids back in schools for a number of reasons, but we’re not going to let children back in school unless we know it’s safe,” he continued. “It’s a very fluid situation, and we have some time. So we’re going to get the data, then we’ll make a decision.

Cuomo said that as well as school districts, the New York State Department of Health is also evaluating the data to help education officials make a final determination on how to best and safely reopen.


“In the meantime, districts are being tasked to come up with a reopening plan, and the Department of Health is working on it as well,” he said. “Every school district is coming up with a plan to reopen, but it doesn’t mean they’re going to reopen.”

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