Cuomo: Schools are not the problem

Jennifer Lewke
Updated: November 13, 2020 06:13 PM
Created: November 13, 2020 05:05 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Parents have mixed feelings about the new school testing requirements that districts in designed Yellow Zones must meet in order to stay open for in-person learning. 

Each school district in the Yellow Zone must test a new 20% of its staff and students each week it remains in the zone. Many parents are wondering why they’re being asked to allow their children to be tested when there’s been virtually no COVID-19 transmission in schools locally. 


News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke was on a conference call with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday and asked him directly about this mandate.  

Cuomo: "The problem is not coming from the schools… it’s coming from the bars, the restaurants, the gyms and the living-room family spread."

Lewke: "Governor you just said, just a short time ago that the problem really is not in the schools, upstate we haven’t had much transmission of COVID in schools at all yet it’s the schools in the yellow zone who are being asked to step up their responsibilities by now adding this testing requirement, why not have the testing requirement be for the problem areas instead?"

Cuomo: "The testing requirement is for a problem area, the Yellow Zone is a problem area. It’s not as big of a problem as an Orange Zone or a Red Zone but by definition, a Yellow Zone is a problem area. It means there’s a higher rate of infection in those families, in that area. So, there’s a higher likelihood that a child from those households could be infected. By definition, that is what Yellow Zone means, that is the problem area."

Lewke was clearly referencing testing within the Yellow Zone and whether it should be done in the problem areas the governor outlined (bar, restaurants, gyms) rather than the schools but she did not get a chance to follow-up because reporters who are called on, are only allowed to ask one question.

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