NEW YORK — Amid confusion over whether students in New York City will continue with distance learning for the rest of the academic year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday that all schools would remain closed as long as there is a public health crisis.
“Am I, as I sit here, prepared to say what we’ll be doing in June? No,” Cuomo said. “I don’t know what we’ll be doing in June.”
The governor, speaking during his daily coronavirus briefing, said he believes schools will need to reopen at the same time as businesses.
“Schools, businesses, workforce, transportation — it all has to be coordinated,” Cuomo said. “If you say schools are closed through June then you’re effectively saying businesses are closed through June because you can’t restart the economy fully without restarting schools. Schools also provide not just education but also in many ways child care for people who can then go to work.”
Ideally, Cuomo said, reopening the state should also be a coordinated regional approach with New Jersey and Connecticut since many people cross state lines regularly for work and other purposes.
“June is a long way from now,” Cuomo said, adding that the decision to reopen schools will be data and science driven.
As of Sunday, schools are closed statewide through April 29.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Saturday announced New York City schools would remain closed for the rest of the academic year, but Cuomo later said no such decision had been made yet.