New York State schools and colleges will stay closed for the remainder of this academic year and will be required to craft reopening plans ahead of next school year.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says distance learning will continue for the state's more than 4.2 million K-12 and collegiate students, calling it "the best course of action to keep students, educators and staff safe."
A ruling on summer school will be made by the end of May, he added, noting that no one can predict what the virus situation in New York will look like in a month.
The state reported a new low in daily COVID-19 deaths (289) since the pandemic's plateau a month ago, but there are still between 900 and 1,000 people getting hospitalized with the pandemic respiratory disease each day.
"1,000 new cases every day is still a very high infection rate," Cuomo said. "It's still a burden on the hospital system, so we want to take [our response] to the next level."
Cuomo planned to speak with state hospitals later Friday afternoon. He said he wants medical institutions to report to the state more information about new COVID-19 patients, including demographic information and where they come from. The hope is that the state can use that information to triangulate infection hotspots and address potential breeding grounds for the virus.
Earlier this week, Cuomo announced that subways in New York City would shut down between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. for disinfecting and cleaning.
As testing for the coronavirus becomes more widespread, Cuomo says states in the region are coordinating to establish an "army" of COVID-19 tracers, who will be tasked with investigating regional and local outbreaks so authorities can respond more efficiently.
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