In announcing Wednesday that most of the city’s shuttered schools and businesses in the state-designated red and orange zones will be moved to the yellow-zone category — thus able to reopen — Governor Andrew Cuomo did not provide details on how or when the city will reopen the closed schools.
Turns out, the schools are awaiting details as well.
Cuomo’s chief of staff Melissa DeRosa tweeted that schools shut by the state will reopen as early as Monday in the Queens neighborhoods, as well as the orange zone of Brooklyn.
But City Hall hasn’t confirmed that date, principals said. So they’re unclear if they will indeed open their doors Monday.
One school emailed parents saying they’re awaiting details.
“We, like you, are eager to get back into the building. As soon as we have guidance from the NYC Department of Education, we will let you know. For now, we only know what we heard during the governor’s press conference. We do not know when we will open and what 'weekly Covid testing' will mean for our school,” said the email from PS 196 in Forest Hills.
Another email sent from a DOE official to principals Wednesday afternoon asked educators not to relay changes in their school’s status until they received official word.
“Please note that no changes will go into effect until Monday, October 26,” said the email from First Deputy Chancellor Donald Conyers. “We are in the process of receiving updated guidance from the State today and will be in touch as soon s we have information to share.”
The red zone of Brooklyn, where the test positivity has improved but is still above 5%, remains the same, meaning schools and businesses don’t have permission to reopen yet. The state “will keep reviewing data, increasing virus control measures,” according to Cuomo.
Cuomo’s October 6th directive closed about 124 schools at 169 locations (some schools have multiple campuses, and some buildings hold multiple schools) in the red and orange zones in Brooklyn and Queens. The schools in yellow zones stayed open but must implement mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing of 20 percent of the in-person population.
In a sign of new virus spread, the Queens neighborhood of Ozone Park was added to the yellow zone, Cuomo said Wednesday.
With Jessica Gould