Aug 7, 2020 - Health

Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning

Andrew Cuomo sits in front of an American flag
Gov. Cuomo on July 23 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all school districts across the state can choose to reopen for in-person learning because it has so far maintained low enough coronavirus transmission rates.

Why it matters: It’s another sign that the state, once the global epicenter of the pandemic, has — at least for now — successfully curbed the spread of the virus even as infections have surged elsewhere around the country.

  • Districts can decide to reopen as long as the average rate of positive tests remains below 5%. The state as a whole — including New York City — has maintained a positivity rate of around 1%.
  • The state is requiring school districts to post their remote learning plans as well as testing and tracing plans online — as well as hold discussion sessions with parents and communities before Aug. 21 and to speak directly with teachers about reopening.
  • Masks and social distancing will also be required, and schools should provide masks to students that do not have them.

Worth noting: Cuomo did acknowledge that the decision to allow children to return to school will ultimately be a personal one for parents as the pandemic continues.

  • "It is not just a question of the state or the local school district pronouncing that the schools are going to be open. The parents are going to make the ultimate decision on a practical level, right?" he said.
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