Gov. Cuomo: Schools to remain closed statewide until at least April 15
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says all schools in New York state will remain closed until at least April 15 as COVID-19 cases continue to increase.
"I don't do this joyfully, but...when you look at the number of cases increasing, it only makes sense," said Gov. Cuomo during a news conference at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, now a temporary emergency hospital.
He said schools will continue to provide meals, child care and their models for distance learning while out of the classroom.
The governor said the goal of “flattening the curve” remains a top priority as a possible apex to COVID-19 cases could come in 21 days. In preparation, he is asking for an additional four emergency hospitals be built in the surrounding boroughs.
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“We are now doing the impossible,” said Gov. Cuomo, who put forth the goal of having 140,000 hospital beds ready for an expected influx of patients.
According to the governor, there are 44,635 cases of coronavirus cases statewide, with 519 deaths. He says deaths are expected to increase. There are 6,481 people currently hospitalized – 1,583 of them are ICU patients. A total of 2,045 patients have been discharged.
The governor also said that there has been a massive influx of volunteers to work on medical staffs and as mental health providers.
He concluded by thanking the Army Corps of Engineers, saying that history will look fondly upon those who “showed up” during this crisis.
Education experts have voiced their concerns about how the extended shutdown will have consequences, particularly with high school regents exams.
"The key issue to my mind is what's going to happen with the regents exams, because that has to do with regents diplomas. It has to do with graduations. Some of those exams are required for graduation so that's a big issue," says retired Brentwood schools superintendent Michael Cohen.
Cuomo says he will reassess the closures as the new extension draws closer.
Notes from the news conference:
- Gov. Cuomo announces that all New York schools will remain closed until April 15; will continue to reassess.
- Gov. Cuomo: "I don't do this joyfully, but...when you look at the number of cases increasing, it only makes sense."
- Schools will continue their meal programs for students and distance learning models.
- Gov. Cuomo says the possible apex for COVID-19 cases could be in 21 days. He says hospitals need to ramp up capacity before that happens. "We are now doing the impossible."
- Gov. Cuomo says they are creating a stockpile of equipment to be deployed to the locations that need them the most, including masks, gloves and much-needed ventilators.
- Gov. Cuomo says they need 140,000 hospital beds. The current capacity is 53,000 beds. He says they need 40,000 ICU beds. He says there were 3,000 ICU beds when the crisis began.
- Gov. Cuomo says there are now 44,635 cases of coronavirus cases statewide, with 519 deaths. He says deaths are expected to increase.
- There are 6,481 people currently hospitalized, 1,583 of them are ICU patients. A total of 2,045 patients have been discharged.
- Gov. Cuomo says they will seek to build another four temporary emergency hospitals in the state. That would be in addition to locations already in place at the Javits Center, Stony Brook, Westchester and Old Westbury. He says he will ask President Trump today for authorization.
- The goal is to have a temporary hospital in all the boroughs and the New York City's surrounding counties.
- USS Comfort, a massive ship, is expected to arrive in New York Harbor on Monday.
- Gov. Cuomo: "The rate of the increase is slowing." He says that hospitalizations were doubling every 2.5 days in mid-March. Now they double every four days.
- There is a total of 10,099 volunteers currently working as mental health care workers. There is a total of 62,447 volunteers (retired professionals) working on medical staffs in the state.
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