Photo Credit: The Hill screengrab via YouTube
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo briefing reporters at state capitol,

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered the state’s schools to remain closed for the rest of the academic year, and warned Friday that it is possible classes may not start on time in September either.

That decision will not be made for some time, he said.

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Speaking during his daily media briefing from the capital in Albany, Cuomo said the schools cannot be reopened safely before the end of the school year on June 26 due to the complexities involved in such an operation.

The question of summer school is still up in the air, he said, but will be decided by the end of the month.

As for the next school year, Cuomo said that question has yet to be addressed. “How do you run a school like this?” he said, pointing at reporters in the room with masks, each sitting six feet apart from the next.

“How many more rooms would you need to do this? “Or how many more buses to ‘socially distance’ on a bus? “How about a cafeteria? How about a dorm room?

“There’s a whole set of questions. They should start working on those plans now,” Cuomo said.

NY COVID-19 Cases, Deaths Continuing
One of the reasons for the decision has to do with the persistence of new infections and deaths from the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in the state.

On Saturday, Cuomo traveled to the New York City borough of Queens to hold his daily briefing on the virus update, where he told reporters there was finally some good news to share: the number of hospitalizations is beginning to drop.

“Intubations is down, which is very good news,” Cuomo said. “The number of new cases, new infections was also down a little bit – 831 – it had been 900 every day which was not great news… Yesterday was 831, we’ll watch to see what happens with that.

“The number that I watch every day which is the worst is the number of deaths. That number has remained obnoxiously, and terrifying, high, and it’s still not dropping at the rate we would like to see it drop. It even went up a little bit, 299 – 289 the day before, so that is bad news,” he said.

Of those, 276 were in hospitals and 23 were in nursing homes, the governor said. “But again, use data, use information to determine actions. We’ve done the largest survey in the nation, testing for people who have antibodies, which tells you if someone had the infection.

Over 15,000 people have been sampled so far.” Of those, 12.3 percent tested positive on May 1 and of the New York City population, 19.9 percent tested positive on May 1. In general, more males were testing positive than females, he added.
Bronx is highest, followed by Brooklyn.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.