New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all school districts across the state have been authorized to reopen for the fall semester, including New York City, with individual schools awaiting approval from the health department on their plans to keep children and staff safe.
"You look at our infection rate, we probably are in the best situation in the country right now," Cuomo told reporters on a conference call. "If anybody can open schools, we can open schools. And that's true for every region in the state period."
Cuomo said there are 749 districts that have to submit plans to the New York State Department of Health on how they plan to keep children and staff safe while attending classes in person.
He said 127 districts have not submitted plans and 50 have plans that are either incomplete or deficient. Cuomo said how schools are going to do testing for students and teachers is particularly a "high level of concern."
Cuomo said he's been "deluged" with calls from parents and teachers about schools reopening, saying there's a "significant amount of anxiety and concern." Schools need to set up a minimum of three several education sessions with parents to go through their plans.
"Our school guidance has been touted as the smartest in the country," he said. "But we've been successful because we've been smart and we have to continue to be smart."
The matter of whether and how to reopen schools in the U.S. this fall has become a hotbed issue in recent weeks. New York state, once the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., now has one of the lowest rates of new cases in the nation.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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