Sat | Sep 26, 2020

Cuomo clears New York schools statewide to open

Published:Friday | August 7, 2020 | 11:46 AM
In this May 27, 2020, file photo, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

ALBANY, New York (AP) — New York’s governor said Friday that he would allow children statewide to return to classrooms for the start of the new school year, citing the state’s success in battling the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo clears the way for schools to offer at least some days of in-person classes, alongside remote learning. Students will be required to wear masks throughout school day.

“Everywhere in the state, every region is below the threshold that we established,” Cuomo said during a conference call with reporters.

“If there’s a spike in the infection rate, if there’s a matter of concern in the infection rate, then we can revisit.”

Many New York school districts have planned to start the year with students in school buildings only a few days a week, while learning at home the rest of the time.

More than 1 million public school students in New York City — the largest district in the US — had their last day of in-class instruction on March 13, just as waves of sick people were beginning to hit city hospitals.

All schools statewide were closed by March 18.

The city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, has been saying since the spring that his goal for fall was to bring students back on schedule, with as much classroom time as possible while still allowing for social distancing.

That plan has looked exceedingly ambitious as other large school systems have backed away from in-person instruction in recent weeks.

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