Teachers and students won't be returning to schools in New York this academic year.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo started his daily COVID-19 briefing on Friday by telling New Yorkers social distancing as well as closing all schools and non-essential businesses kept 100,000 people out of the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic and saved "thousands of lives."

"It’s cause and effect. Our actions determine our future. Together we changed the course of this virus," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said about 900 Empire State residents were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Thursday. He said about each day around 900 people are hospitalized with the virus.

"That looks like the number is flattening, is plateauing at 900 to 1,100 cases," he said.

Cuomo reported 289 New Yorkes died since the last count, bringing the statewide total to 18,304.

We must protect the child, students and educators in New York, Cuomo said while announcing alls schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year in New York State.

"Given the current situation, K-12 schools and college facilities will remain closed for the rest of the academic year and will continue to provide distance learning," Cuomo tweeted during his COVID-19 briefing. "This is the best course of action to keep students, educators and staff safe."

Cuomo said a decision about summer school will be made at the end of May. He announced meal programs and child care programs will continue.

He also wants schools to start developing plans to help stop the spread of the virus when schools do reopen.

Cuomo was asked if schools can reopen in the fall.

"No decision has been made about the fall because the fall is a LONG time away," he answered.

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