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Cuomo: Summer School Will Be Online

NEW YORK — Summer school in New York will be conducted remotely, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday, citing the risks of returning children to the classroom.

The governor said it’s too early to make a decision about the fall semester. School buildings in New York have been closed since March.

“Schools obviously pose risks. They’re places of gathering. They’re on buses. They’re in classrooms,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing. “How do you reduce density in a classroom? How do you reduce density in a cafeteria, on a school bus, et cetera? How do you get children to wear masks?”

Cuomo also mentioned increasing awareness and concern about a syndrome affecting children that is thought to be linked to COVID-19. Pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome affects blood vessels and organs and has symptoms including prolonged fever, abdominal pain and vomiting.

New York is investigating 157 cases of the syndrome, which has been reported in more than a dozen countries. Two young boys and an 18-year-old woman diagnosed with the syndrome have died in New York state.

Meal programs and child care for essential employees will continue during the summer session, Cuomo said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday said instruction in the city’s public schools will be online this summer.

THE NUMBERS

There were 105 new deaths reported statewide, the fourth straight day the daily death toll has hovered slightly above 100. The death tally peaked at 799 on April 8.

There were 5,187 COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide, a drop of 383 from the day before.

UNEMPLOYMENT

Cuomo’s administration says it’s making progress on its backlog of pending unemployment benefit applications.

New York has paid out over $10 billion in benefits to more than two million individuals, state labor commissioner Roberta Reardon said. That’s up from $2.1 billion paid out in total last year.

Critics say the state’s system has been too slow to help unemployed workers. In response, the labor department revamped its website and made other changes.

Cuomo’s administration looked at over a million applications submitted before April 22, and found the state hasn’t processed 7,580 claims that are missing information.

Another 15,831 are going through final processing that includes a check for fraud and identity theft, according to Reardon. The state has processed another 20,801 claims but hasn’t released those benefits because individuals haven’t submitted federally mandated weekly certifications.

“We will continue to try get in touch with everyone who applied so we can connect them with the benefits they are eligible for,” Reardon said.

THREE NEW CASES

Three new cases of COVID-19 were reported Thursday in Chautauqua County, bringing the total locally to 60.

The county Department of Health said the new cases involve two pediatric cases and a female in her 30s. In addition there remains 19 actives cases (none hospitalized), 37 recoveries, four deaths, 209 cases under quarantine/isolation and 2,073 negative tests.

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