NEW YORK — The start of the next academic year is more than a month away for many New York students, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo is advising school districts to take action and ensure schools won’t become COVID-19 superspreaders.
The state and the rest of the country are seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the delta variant and unvaccinated people, according to health officials.
“You have these school districts where you know they are in a high-infection area, and a school can become a superspreader,” the governor said Wednesday.
Cuomo said school districts will need to keep “a very close eye” on the numbers and need to take a serious look at what they’re doing to ensure students and faculty will be safe by the start of the academic year.
The state will soon implement a vaccine mandate for all state workers while New York City municipal workers will also be mandated to get vaccinated or have weekly COVID testing.
However, when asked about mandating vaccinations for teachers, he said he does not have the power to do that as districts employ teachers, service staff and bus drivers.
School districts, as an employer, can mandate vaccines for their workers, the governor added.
The highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus accounted for more than 72% of recent positive COVID-19 cases in New York, Cuomo said Monday.
As cases continue to rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging.