Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on August 7 that all schools in the state of New York were cleared to open in the fall.  Schools closed in March and stayed closed through the end of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the state was a virus hotspot in the early days of the pandemic, the state has lowered infection and case rates to meet the standards for schools to open.

“Today is the deadline to look at the infection rates and make a determination. By our infection rates, all school districts can open everywhere in the state,” Cuomo said in a news conference. “Every region is below the threshold that we established.”

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Each district was required to submit reopening plans to the state this week. Of 749 districts, 127 have not submitted plans yet. “I have been deluged with calls from parents and teachers and there is a significant level of anxiety and concern,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said officials can revise plans should infection rates spike. In New York City, the country’s largest school district, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he wouldn’t open schools if the city goes above a 3% infection state. He said of the city’s plans for reopening, “We’re going to have blended learning, kids in class sometimes, out of school other times. Anyone who wants to be at home can be at home,” de Blasio said. “That’s an option. But we’re going to be cleaning all the time.”

“We’re going to have social distancing in every classroom,” he added. “We’re going to have face coverings on every adult and child. We are doing everything you’ve ever heard of to keep our schools safe. And, again, all of our health professionals are working on that together.”

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

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