ALBANY — Summer schools will be conducted through distance learning in the upcoming months, while the fate of the school year itself remains uncertain.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said meal programs and child care services for essential employees will continue through the summer, but in-class teaching will not take place.
“In terms of opening up school for the fall, it is still too early to make that determination,” he said.
Cuomo cited issues with density in classrooms, cafeteria and school buses, along with the question of how to get children to wear masks. Worries also remain about the inflammatory symptoms apparently associated with COVID-19 in children.
“This is one of these situations I believe where the more they look, the more they are going to find,” he said.
The state will issue guidelines in June so schools and colleges can start planning for a number of scenarios for opening. Schools will need to do those plans, and are to be submitted to the state by July for approval. The state will decide to approve those plans or not in July, all in preparation for an opening in September.
Guidelines for summer day camps are being re-examined in light of the new set of circumstances. Officials want to make sure it can still be done safely.
New York is also starting its contact tracing operation, and people who may have been exposed to a positive individual will get a phone call from NYS Contact Tracing. Cuomo said the calls are not a hoax or scam, and people should pick up.
Total hospitalizations are down as is new COVID cases. The number of new COVID cases — 246 — is lower than when the pandemic in New York first started Cuomo said. On Wednesday there were 105 deaths — 78 in hospitals and 27 in nursing homes.
“When we reopen a region or start to reopen a region, there will be increased activity,” the governor said. “That does not necessarily equate to an increase in the number of cases. It does not have to be — that increased activity — means to be more cases. It tends to be true, but it doesn’t have to be true.”
Cuomo said there can be more activity but if people take the right precautions, the region doesn’t necessarily need to see a rise in the number of cases.
Employees who believe their employer isn’t following PPE, hygiene or social distancing guidelines can call the New York Coronavirus Hotline at 1 (888) 364-3065.