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Gov. Cuomo: School districts late on reopening plans need to submit by Friday

Back to School: Facts First

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a conference call with media Monday to give an update on New York state’s coronavirus pandemic response.

The governor said that 476 of of 54,002 tests conducted Sunday came back positive — an infection rate of .88%. He said two New Yorkers died from the coronavirus Sunday. Gov. Cuomo said Sunday’s 535 virus hospitalizations is the lowest number since early March when the pandemic began and 13 less than Saturday’s update. The governor that that 62 patients intubated is also the lowest number in months.

“God bless New Yorkers, they’re doing what they need to do and we’ve made tremendous progress,” Gov. Cuomo said.

Each region’s percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days is as follows:

REGIONFRIDAYSATURDAYSUNDAY
Capital Region0.9%0.8%0.8%
Central New York0.8%0.7%0.6%
Finger Lakes0.8%0.9%0.7%
Long Island0.9%0.6%1.2%
Mid-Hudson0.7%0.6%0.9%
Mohawk Valley0.9%0.5%0.5%
New York City1.1%0.9%0.9%
North Country0.2%0.2%0.2%
Southern Tier1.2%0.3%0.4%
Western New York1.7%1.6%0.8%

The governor said the New York State Liquor Authority continues to perform compliance checks, and that local governments need to take on a bigger role in enforcing the regulations. The SLA conducted 770 tests Sunday and found 19 establishments to be in violation of state requirements, all of which were downstate.

“This is an enforcement issues, it’s not an informational issue, people have the information, they know,” Gov. Cuomo said. “I need the local government and the local police departments to do the enforcement.”

MORE | Burkes Grill in Webster has liquor license suspended after violating new regulations

On Friday, the governor announced that all schools across the state could reopening. Districts submitted reopening proposals last week to the New York State Department of Education pending approval to move forward. Friday, those districts received that approval.

However, some districts had not met the deadline to submit — more than 100 throughout the state, including several in our region (full list below) — and must do so by the end of the week.

“They didn’t submit a plan to the DOH or SED, and if they don’t submit a plan by this Friday they can’t open,” Gov. Cuomo said. “So maybe they just have determined that they just don’t want to open, which is the only logical conclusion, but if they think they’re going to reopen then they have to have their plan in by Friday, period.”

MORE | Every school district reopening plan in the 9-county Rochester & Finger Lakes region

The Conference of Big 5 School Districts, which includes Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, Yonkers, and Utica, must hold five discussion sessions. The governor is also requiring districts to hold at least one discussion with teachers to allow them to ask their questions and air their concerns.

“You’re not going to dictate to parents that they have to send their child, they don’t have to send their child,” Gov. Cuomo said. “They’re not going to send their child if they don’t think the plan makes sense. Teachers do have different concerns or additional concerns beyond just the student populations. You don’t want to rush these conversations you don’t want to create more anxiety for the parents and for the teachers and so that’s what the school district needs to do, and they need to do it ASAP.”

According to the governor’s office, 107 school districts haven’t submitted their reopening plans yet.

The list of school districts that have not submitted a plan is below:

  • Franklinville
  • Portville
  • Salamanca
  • West Valley
  • Broadalbin-Perth
  • Mayfield
  • Kendall
  • Argyle
  • Fort Ann
  • Hendrick Hudson
  • Bedford
  • Garrison
  • Carle Place
  • Elmont
  • Garden City
  • Lawrence
  • Locust Valley
  • Malverne
  • Manhasset
  • Mineola
  • New Hyde Park
  • Plainedge
  • Plainview
  • Syosset
  • Uniondale
  • Middletown
  • Valley-Montgmry
  • Camden
  • Oriskany
  • Utica
  • Waterville
  • Lake Pleasant
  • C-V At Ilion-Mohawk Csd
  • Van Hornsville
  • Carthage
  • Lyme
  • Newark Valley
  • Spencer Van Etten
  • George Jr Republic
  • Brentwood
  • Brookhaven-Comsewogue Ufsd
  • Deer Park
  • Longwood
  • Middle Country
  • Mount Sinai
  • North Babylon
  • Oysterponds
  • Remsenburg
  • Rocky Point
  • Sachem
  • Tuckahoe Common
  • Wainscott
  • Western Suffolk Boces
  • Arkport
  • Bradford
  • Corning
  • Hammondsport
  • Cooperstown
  • Richfield Springs Csd
  • Worcester
  • Odessa Montour
  • Peru
  • Johnsburg
  • Webster
  • Nyack
  • Sloan
  • Williamsville
  • Catskill
  • Windham Ashland
  • Edinburg Common Sd
  • Shenendehowa
  • Sagaponack
  • Cortland
  • Andes
  • Margaretville
  • Beacon
  • Poughkeepsie
  • Elmira
  • Victor
  • East Bloomfield
  • Geneva
  • Lewiston Porter
  • Pine Valley
  • Altmar-Parish
  • Oswego
  • Fayettvlle-Manlius
  • Berkshire
  • Germantown
  • Kinderhook
  • Brunswick Central
  • East Greenbush
  • Troy
  • Seneca Falls
  • Eldred
  • Jeff Youngsville
  • Canton
  • Hammond
  • Heuvelton
  • Lisbon
  • Massena
  • Potsdam
  • Palmyra-Macedon
  • Red Creek
  • Wyoming
  • Amsterdam
  • Canajoharie
  • Fort Plain

“There are 107 school districts that have not submitted their plan – for those 107 school districts, how they didn’t submit a plan is beyond me. If they don’t submit a plan by this Friday, they can’t open,” Gov. Cuomo said. “The main arbiter here of whether a school district has an intelligent plan to reopen and whether people have confidence in that district’s plan: It’s going to be the parents and it’s going to be the teachers, and that requires discussion, and that’s going to be a dialogue.”

Webster:

According to Webster Central School District Superintendent Carmen Gumina, the governor’s office list of schools who failed to submit is not accurate.

Victor

Victor Central Schools issued a statement Monday clarifying their situation.

“VCS was informed today by email from the New York State Health Department that we are one of many districts who have not yet submitted in-person reopening plans to the State. VCS submitted a reopening plan to New York State on July 31st and posted the plan to our website shortly thereafter. We received email confirmation from the State that we submitted our plan and have received significant feedback on it from the public who have accessed the plan on our website.

It is our understanding that there is no issue with the plan itself but has to do with an internal State verification system that is being rectified.”

Pal-Mac

Officials from Palmyra-Macedon Central School District say they also submitted their proposal to the state before Friday’s deadline. A statement from district officials Monday afternoon said:

“On Monday, August 10, the Palmyra-Macedon Central School District was notified that it failed to submit a COVID-19 School Reopening Plan.

However, it is the understanding of the district that this notification was an error. 

The district did submit its plan to the State Education Department in a timely manner with submission formally taking place on Friday, July 31 at approximately 9:08 a.m.

The district did submit its plan to the Department of Health in a timely manner with submission formally taking place on Friday, July 31 at approximately 9:13 a.m.

Submission affirmations were received by the district from those agencies.

At this time, the district is working with the State to correct the error.”

Geneva

Geneva City School District officials say they too submitted their reopening plans. District officials sent News 8 a copy of the confirmation from the state as evidence:

Seneca Falls

Seneca Falls Central School District officials say they too were included on the list despite their submission plan.

“Today, Monday, August 10, the Seneca Falls Central School District was notified that it failed to submit a COVID-19 School Reopening Plan to the NYS Department of Health.

However, the district did submit its plan in a timely manner with submission formally taking place on Friday, July 31. This is the same date we uploaded our plan to our district website.

At this time, the district is working with the State to address the issue.

The safety of students and staff, throughout the planning process for reopening school, has been the top priority and will continue to be.

Sorry for this confusion and I will be sure to notify all families when our plan has been approved.”

MORE | Every school district reopening plan in the 9-county Rochester & Finger Lakes region

A statement from the governor’s office Monday afternoon said some schools didn’t submit their plans correctly:

“The list of districts that didn’t file a plan with the state Department of Health is accurate. Despite clear guidance provided to these schools, which included a link to the DOH portal, some districts in follow-up calls said they filed with the State Education Department – which is not an executive agency – but didn’t file with DOH. Others filled out an affirmation certifying that they would be abiding by the state’s reopening guidance, but didn’t actually submit their plan, something many of these districts are now rectifying.”

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump announced that states must pay part of $400 weekly unemployment insurance benefits. Cuomo told a telephone news conference that Trump’s plan would likely cost New York state $4 billion.

“The concept of saying to states, you pay 25% of the insurance, is just laughable,” Cuomo said. “It’s just an impossibility. So none of this is real on the federal side. This is going to have to be resolved.”

The governor said he would have further comment on the federal response during a second Monday briefing scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Locally, there have been 288 coronavirus deaths in Monroe County and 4,735 cases. There are currently 36 people hospitalized from the virus and eight patients in Intensive Care Units.

MORE | COVID-19 county by county: Keeping track of local cases throughout the region

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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