Cuomo: School Will Close Down Across New York if COVID-19 Spreads
In what appears to be a change, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced individual schools across the state will be shut down if coronavirus starts to spread.
In early August, during a conference call, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced all schools across New York State can reopen in September.
When making his announcement, he said if there is a spike in the infection rate between now and when schools reopen, schools can close down. Cuomo notes that schools will be closed down, on a regional basis, if the rate-of-transmission goes above nine percent.
On Monday, Cuomo said an individual school will be closed if it has a concerning amount of COVID-19 cases.
"If a school district does open and there is a COVID spread the state will close the school," Cuomo said during his press briefing on Monday prior to announcing gyms across New York State can reopen. "So parents who are concerned and they are 'what if something happens' if something happens and there's a spread then the state will step in and we will close the school, but we don't want to get to that point. That's exactly what we want to avoid. And that's why the how and the plan is so important."
Cuomo didn't give an exact number of what it will take to close down an individual school.
The governor believes any reopening plan needs the support of teachers and parents for it to work this fall.
"I don't think you want to get into a legal battle with the teachers. That's the nature of the profession. Teachers have to feel safe. You're not going to order a teacher into the classroom," Cuomo said.
Cuomo told school districts to post plans on COVID-19 testing and contract tracing if a student or staff member ends up with the virus.
He says all schools must have a clear plan for COVID testing for students and educators. He adds schools must be transparent if anyone tests positive for coronavirus.