Last spring when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a mass-closure of K-12 schools in New York it set off a chain-reaction of outcry.
Those in rural Upstate communities said that it was an unfair burden to be placed on them, as COVID-19 case numbers remained low. Then, there was uncertainty heading into the fall semester, which raised questions about how much the virus would spread at schools.
While some local health departments have asked schools in their boundaries to stay with remote learning temporarily – like Cayuga County – Gov. Cuomo is staying neutral.
“My position has always been if the children are safer in the school than they are on the streets of the community, then children should be in school,” Cuomo said Monday.
Schools have generally seen lower infection rates than communities – even in cluster zones, which prompted New York to rework its policy for reopening schools that had previously been closed due to falling under orange or red zone restriction.
It’s clear now though that unless a region goes into full-shutdown, the state will let localities decide if schools can remain open. And even then, a path will likely be available for schools to continue in-person learning if they choose.
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