On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined reopening steps for New York schools, overriding previous steps outlined by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Patch reports.

Schools will be able to reopen in fall only if their region is in phase 4 and coronavirus daily infection rates are below 5 percent, Cuomo said. Determinations will made in the first week of August.

“We’re not going to use our children as guinea pigs,” he said.

If daily infection rates in an area rise above 9 percent, schools in that area will be immediately closed. Cuomo said it was data that would keep children safe, not political motivations.

“We test more, we have more data than any state, look at the data. If you have the virus under control: reopen,” Cuomo said at a news briefing Monday.

“If you don’t have the virus under control then you can’t reopen, right? We’re not going to use our children as a litmus test and we’re not going to put our children in a place where their health is endangered, it’s that simple.”

De Blasio recently announcing a reopening plan for New York City schools for the fall semester that included mandatory masks, reduced class sizes, staggered schedules and sanitation and cleaning requirements. But Cuomo’s announcement asserted the state’s authority on decisions about reopening.

Cuomo said the state benchmarks must be complied with, but local school districts would determine classroom modifications. Cuomo said across the state, masks or face covers would be required in schools when social distancing was not possible.


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