Updated: May 01, 2020 02:04 PM
Created: April 30, 2020 10:00 AM
ALBANY, N.Y. (WHEC/AP) — New York’s schools and colleges will remain shut through the end of the academic year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.
The decision, which applies to 4.2 million students statewide, continues a shutdown order that is set to expire May 15. Cuomo said it is simply too risky to reopen at a time when the virus is still sending nearly 1,000 people into the hospital every day.
“We must protect our children. Every parent and citizen feels that,” he said.
A school that wishes to reopen sometime after the end of the current academic year would need to have its plan to do so approved by the state, Cuomo said. A decision about whether to allow in-person summer school will be deferred until the end of May, he said.
"There is no decision on the fall because the fall is a long time away," Cuomo said.
“We have said all along that the health and safety of students and educators must be the primary concern during this crisis," said New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta in a statement. "Keeping school buildings and colleges closed for the rest of this academic year is the smart choice. We will work with Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and state education and health officials on planning a safe and gradual re-opening. We also will continue advocating that summer school programming should be voluntary, with decisions on what is right for students made at the local level.”
The number of new COVID-19 cases in New York has plateaued. However, the number is still high, with rates between 900 and 1,100 new cases a day. Two-hundred-eighty-nine people died in New York due to COVID-19 Thursday; 22 of those deaths were in nursing homes.
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