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Governor Announces Formula For School Reopening

Gov. Andrew Cuomo AP file photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

The reopening of New York State’s schools will be tied to and look similar to its economic reopening.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will use a formula to determine if schools will reopen during a press briefing Monday.

The formula notes that schools will be able to reopen if their region is in Phase IV — the last phase of economic opening. The COVID-19 infection rate must be below 5% based on a 14-day average. However, if the infection rate is above 9% on a 7-day average after August 1, schools will close. The final formula decision will be made the week of Aug. 1-7.

The Western New York Region, which includes Chautauqua County, is currently in Phase IV.

Schools will need to follow guidelines — featuring guidance released on Monday by the state department of education — once they receive the “green light” to open.

Face coverings are strongly recommended at all times, according to a slide during the briefing, and districts should be able to provide mask breaks for students when they are able to socially distance.

Masks will be required on buses and students should social distance. Foodservice should provide meals in a combination of classrooms and cafeteria if social distancing is not possible in the cafeteria alone. Schools should develop a plan for before and aftercare and any extracurricular activity must follow state procedures.

School districts must submit plans to the state Department of Education to reopen by July 31. A portal will open for them to do so on Friday, July 17.

See full story in tomorrow’s edition of The Post-Journal.

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