NY officials consider extension of current school closures order due to COVID-19 outbreak

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Posted at 1:13 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 13:51:40-04

NEW YORK — As New York continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, officials are deciding whether or not they should extend school closure plans.

“The governor is evaluating that now. There’s going to be a decision on whether to extend the closure,” James Malatras, president of SUNY Empire College said during a press conference Thursday.

The state follows a 180-day instructional requirement. Schools that exceed the closure period without state authorization will not be exempted from the 180-day rule.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo previously waived the measure, which would end April 1, but officials are looking into whether or not closures would be extended.

When asked about long-term plans with school board elections and other state exams, including the regents, Cuomo said officials are looking at it “at an ongoing basis.”

In New York City, all public schools, Catholic Academies and Parish schools are expected to be closed until at least April 20. Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed doubt that NYC public schools would be able to reopen, but he remains hopeful.

Students have been home amid the coronavirus outbreak as schools transitioned into remote learning.

This was done in an attempt to flatten the curve as officials want people home as much as possible.

More than 1.1 million children and nearly 1,900 public schools, in New York City alone, have been impacted.

Last week, the Trump Administration announced states can cancel federally required school testing this year if it's necessary to protect students and teachers.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were 37,258 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 385 deaths in the state, according to Cuomo.