Cuomo Says N.Y. Schools Decision Will Be Made in Early August

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said a decision on whether schools will reopen for in-person learning in September will be made by the state during the first week of August.

The federal government has no authority on school reopenings, just like it had no authority on states reopening their economies, Cuomo said, in response to President Donald Trump calling for schools to reopen.

“We will open the schools if it is safe to open the schools,” Cuomo said Wednesday at a news briefing. “Yes, we all want the schools to open, but we want it to be safe.”

The state will issue final guidance to schools on July 13, and all districts must submit their reopening plans to the state by July 31. The state will then make a decision between Aug. 1 and 7, Cuomo said.

New York City, the nation’s largest public school system, is planning to reopen in September with kids in class two to three days a week, Mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier Wednesday.

Cuomo said New York is continuing to recover as other states that rushed to reopen are seeing surges. There were 841 Covid-related hospitalizations in the state yesterday, down from a high of 18,825.

Hospitalizations are up nationally, which is the biggest indicator of a growing crisis, the governor said. “More people are getting sick,” he said. “That’s undeniable.”

Cuomo called on Trump to enact a national mandate on wearing masks.

“It is literally a matter of life and death,” Cuomo said. “And that is not being overly dramatic.”

New York, once the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, is proceeding with its reopening in regions and in phases. Long Island began the last phase on Wednesday. Malls in that phase may reopen starting Friday provided they install air filtration systems and put other ventilation protocols in place, Cuomo said.

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