School closures will be left up to the local districts, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday said amid calls for him to issue a statewide order to do so.
Cuomo called a statewide school closure one with "significant trade offs."
"The call to close schools is a very difficult decision and a complicated decision," Cuomo said at a news conference.
There's no guarantee kids would not have contact with someone who has coronavirus, Cuomo said. At the same time, there are questions surrounding instruction, availability of meals for kids and what parents would do for children who need supervision.
Several states in the country have already closed their schools, most recently Ohio and Virginia for several weeks. All Illinois K-12 schools will be closed starting Tuesday through March 30.
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew called for New York City schools to shut down.
Some schools in New York have already closed. Cuomo has already issued an order that would close a school for 24 hours if either a student or staff member is found to have the virus. Schools within a 1-mile containment area in New Rochelle have also closed.
On Friday, Cuomo made it easier for schools to close on their own by waiving the 180-day requirement for schools to be in session and receive state aid.
Attendance at schools is down at schools that have remained open.
"I think you see that anxiety reflected in local school closings, also," Cuoom said. "It's not diffuclt emotionally. It's factually a very debatable premise."
But the situation remains a fluid one as does everything with the virus.
"It's something we look at every day," Cuomo said.