As school districts across the state ready for their reopening, New York State will track any coronavirus cases in a publicly available online dashboard. The information will be available here, starting on September 9th.

"Many of the school districts have testing protocols that will be in place as part of their plans, but those plans are only as good as their implementation," Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday in a statement. The dashboard will help teachers and parents "know exactly what's happening in their schools," Cuomo added, "I hope this will give [them] some confidence that the plans are being implemented and if there's a positive case, they will know and DOH will know and the locals can respond quickly."

The state is requiring that school districts provide daily data on COVID-19 cases that emerge among students and staff. Earlier this summer, Cuomo said that schools could only reopen if the positivity rate was 5% or less; for New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio set the threshold at 3%. The dashboard of school cases will be updated daily.

The NYC Department of Education will require 10-20% of the school population—students and staff—to be tested every month starting in October. Further, the DOE also outlined specific approaches if there are positive cases, ranging from what happens if there's one case in a classroom (the classroom will be closed for 14 days; those students and staff will quarantine for 14 days) to what happens if there's an unclear link (the school would be closed for 14 days).

Whether schools can safely reopening remains a subject for intense debate. However, schools in Europe have been reopening with some success. Germany's schools opened last month, and the NY Times reports, "Several weeks into returning to school, educators and even virologists who were skeptical about reopening say that early results look hopeful. Despite individual infections popping up in dozens of schools, there have been no serious outbreaks — and no lasting closures. Berlin is a case in point: By the end of last week, 49 infections had been recorded among teachers and students across the city. But thanks to fast testing and targeted quarantines, no more than 600 students out of some 366,000 have had to stay home on any given day. Of 803 schools, only 39 have been affected."

A virologist told the Times, "It’s messy and imperfect and I would have liked to see more precautions, but the main takeaway so far is: It’s working."

However, unlike the United States, Germany's response in explaining the virus to its citizens has been called "masterful"; its chancellor, Angela Merkel, is a scientist by training with a doctorate in quantum chemistry.