Schools and Colleges Statewide Closed for Remainder of Academic Year
Governor Cuomo announced today that K-12 schools and colleges statewide will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. In the meantime, schools will be required to maintain their distance learning initiatives, meal programs will continue, and child care services for essential employees also will continue. A decision on summer school programming will be made by the end of May. The Governor has not set a timetable for deciding whether schools will reopen this fall, but schools and colleges must develop reopening plans for the State’s review and approval prior to opening.
The Governor stated that decisions on summer camp operations will be made on a regional basis.
Future of “New York State on PAUSE” Protocols
“New York State on PAUSE” business restrictions and social protocols are in effect through May 15. The Governor will decide whether to extend or modify these directives prior to this date.
Mental Health Initiatives
The Governor announced that New York State is partnering with the Kate Spade New York Foundation and Crisis Text Line to provide a 24/7 emotional support service for frontline health care workers. These workers can text NYFRONTLINE to 741-741 to access the services.
Additionally, the New York State Department of Financial Services will require State-regulated health insurers to waive cost-sharing (including deductibles), copayments and coinsurance for in-network mental health services for New York’s frontline essential workers during COVID-19. Finally, the Department also will be issuing an emergency regulation to prohibit insurers from imposing cost-sharing for telehealth and in-person mental health services rendered by in-network providers on an outpatient basis to frontline essential workers eligible to be tested at one of the State’s drive through or walk-in COVID-19 testing sites.
Thankfully, we are remaining on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 289 since yesterday to 18,610 total.