(Photo: screengrab)

During a recent press conference updating the public about the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo he stated that starting in September 2021, all schools will reopen for in-person learning.

“Our children lost so much as COVID struck our state. A year of socialization, a year of memories, and even more,” he said. “While teachers and school administrators did an incredible job pivoting to remote learning with virtually zero notice, there’s no denying the discrimination students who did not have the right equipment faced. With the way our COVID numbers are currently trending, there is no reason why our students should not get back to in-person learning as usual and we look forward to welcoming them back. If there is a change in the trajectory of the virus, we will revisit the decision.”

Many New York students have not attended in-person learning since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.  Since then, students have been participating in virtual learning or a hybrid learning experience that is both in-person and virtual.

The large number of vaccinated New Yorkers appears to have factored into the state’s decision to open schools. Cumo mentioned that 10 million state residents have already been vaccinated.

“Sixty-four percent of New Yorkers now have at least one shot. Long Island, [with 69% vaccinated], is the highest region in the state of New York for residents with at least one dose of the vaccine.”

In addition to the high vaccination rate, the low infection rate also contributed to Cuomo’s decision.

“The rate in New York State On May 23 was 1.09%. OK, that’s very, very low. To give you an idea of how low, the national average yesterday was 2.6% so we are less than half of the national average.”

“Covid has been a long cold dark winter, but the season has changed. We have the beast contained, but we have to continue to contain the beast,” he assured.

The governor remains a big advocate for the vaccine. He has taken to social media to spread the word for those who wish to be vaccinated, and even included some incentives.

“Get vaccinated—and get a free State Park pass. Anyone who gets vaccinated anywhere in NY from May 24-31 can get a free 2-day pass to any New York State Park. 15 State Parks will also host pop-up vax sites. Take your Shot in the Park! #VaccinateNY.”

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