The remaining public and private schools in New York that are still open will close on Wednesday for at least two weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
Cuomo is closing the remaining 14 percent of schools in the state that are still open or have not yet announced plans to close as large-city school districts, including New York City, also begin to close in order to halt the spread of the virus.
The governor had initially been hesitant to close schools acrosss the state as had been done in other parts of the country. Cuomo pointed to the need to have some students fed during the day, as well as ensure kids are not being looked after by parents who have key jobs, like in health care or as first responders.
But over the last several days state officials have put together a plan meant to mitigate the effect of closing schools. School districts, too, must submit a plan to ensure parents of those who are in important fileds have access to child care.
"The single most effective way to slow the spread of this virus is to reduce close contacts, and that includes in our schools," Cuomo said. "I am directing the closure of all schools throughout the state for two weeks as we continue working aggressively to ramp up testing, isolate those who are sick and mitigate the impacts of this virus. Every district will be required to submit a plan to ensure children of healthcare workers and first responders have access to child care so these closures do not strain our hospitals and that children who depend on school meal programs continue getting the support they need."
A plan for closing schools is due by midnight for Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk county districts as well as New York City.