In response to COVID-19, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday morning that schools across New York State will remain closed for the rest of the academic year. “We don’t think it’s possible” to reopen schools “in a way that would keep our children and students and educators safe,” Mr. Cuomo said.

This comes only weeks after New York City mayor, and former 2020 democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio announced that the city’s 1,200 schools would close for the remainder of the school year. This was quickly shut down by Cuomo who said he alone had the authority to rule on school reopening dates. “How do you operate a school that’s socially distanced with masks, without gatherings?”, Cuomo said. 

“This move will impact 4.2 million , K-12, college and university students, the majority of whom have been learning at home since the coronavirus began to rapidly spread across the state mid-march.”

Cuomo made the decision to close schools as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the state, despite new statistics that show that New York may have hit the apex of coronavirus cases. Furthermore, new hospitalizations for the virus remained in the mid-900s for a fourth day, a plateau which is concerning many experts. 

This move will impact 4.2 million, K-12, college and university students, the majority of whom have been learning at home since the coronavirus began to rapidly spread across the state mid-march. 

K-12 schools will continue to carry out online learning till June 26th, the last day of the 2019-2020 school year in the state.

Over 700 school districts across the state have requested that online summer schools take place this year. Cuomo gave no answer to whether this would happen or not, and a decision would be made by the end of May.

Many have criticized Cuomo’s ruling, and in a response to said criticism, Cuomo stated, “That shift in the trajectory reduced by about 100,000 is  the number of New Yorkers who would have been hospitalized … A portion of those 100,000 would have passed away. So all this inconvenience, all this turmoil, for what? To keep 100,000 people out of hospitals, that’s for what.”