New Guidance on Reopening Schools in New York State

New York State today released new guidance and guiding principles for reopening schools in the State, available here.  According to the guidance, schools in a region may be permitted to reopen if that region is in Phase 4 of the New York Forward reopening process and if the region’s daily infection rate remains below 5 percent using a 14-day average. Schools will close if the regional infection rate rises above 9 percent, using a 7-day average, after August 1st.

Schools’ reopening plans are due to the State on July 31st.  The State will make final determinations on school reopenings during the first week of August.

Topics addressed by the State guidance include:

  • Masks/PPE (personal protective equipment)
  • Social Distancing
  • Cohort Structures
  • Restructuring Space to Maximize In-Class Instruction
  • Transportation
  • Food Service
  • Aftercare and Extracurriculars
  • Screening
  • Tracing
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting

Travel and Quarantine Guidance

Governor Cuomo today announced a travel enforcement operation will commence tomorrow, July 14th, at airports across the State to help ensure travelers are following the State’s quarantine restrictions.  Enforcement teams will be stationed at airports throughout the State to meet arriving aircrafts at gates and greet disembarking passengers to request proof of completion of the NYS Department of Health (DOH) traveler form, which is being distributed to passengers by airlines prior to, and upon boarding or disembarking, flights to New York State.  A new electronic version of the DOH traveler form also has been made available.

DOH also has issued an emergency health order mandating that all out-of-state travelers from designated states complete the DOH traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form will be subject to a $2,000 fine and may be brought to a hearing and ordered to complete mandatory quarantine.  Additionally, travelers coming to New York from designated states through other means of transport, including trains and cars, must fill out the DOH traveler form online.

Joint Legislative Hearings on COVID-19 Impact

NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie today announced a series of joint legislative hearings to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted New York State, with specific focuses on higher education, residential health care facilities, hospitals, primary elections, workers, veterans, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).  The full schedule for these hearings, which will begin on July 28th and occur during the ensuing weeks, can be found here.

New York City Face Covering Guidance

New York City Mayor de Blasio today announced that all New Yorkers should wear a face covering indoors when they are around other people in a setting that is not their home. With cases rising among New Yorkers between the ages of 20-29, the City will launch a public outreach campaign geared towards younger New Yorkers, including additional mobile testing sites. Through a “Night of Action,” the City will conduct outreach through popular bars, outdoors restaurants, and waterfront locations, offering nearby mobile van testing and mask giveaways. The City also will partner with digital influencers to reach younger New Yorkers across social platforms and share guidance on how to prevent COVID-19.

New Testing Sites in New York City

Through partnerships with Federally Qualified Health Centers, the City will open 10 additional diagnostic testing sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.  Please click here to find more information about testing sites throughout the City.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

New York State is maintaining low numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.  With that in mind, there still were 10 COVID-related deaths yesterday.