Cuomo’s ‘winter plan’ prioritizes keeping schools open for younger students

New York News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Keeping schools open is a priority in what Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling his “winter plan,” specifically for younger students in kindergarten through eighth grade. That plan, he says, has three parts, one of which is figuring out a testing strategy that lets schools stay open.

His team plans on setting a safe positivity rate for schools, with an emphasis on hammering out an appropriate level of testing that a district could sustain for a period of time.

And he says how many tests a school district needs will vary across the state, while also taking into account the tests that still need to be available for nursing homes, essential workers, etc.

“All the data says the schools are safer than the surrounding community, we want to continue testing in the schools, but we need a sustainable testing rate in the schools.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The other part of the plan involves coming up with a way to distribute an eventual vaccine and adjusting the factors that determine whether a microcluster is yellow, orange, or red.

Cuomo says as the nation enters what could be the worst period of time in the pandemic, the state is also going to weigh a region’s hospitalization rate and hospital bed and ICU bed capacity as two factors that will weigh into a zone’s color designation.

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