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Stories and information in our region on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cuomo, De Blasio Spar Over Reopening Schools, Businesses

Don Pollard
Office of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announce the expansion of COVID-19 testing capacity in New York, at a news briefing in early March.

Even though the number of new coronavirus patients admitted to New York hospitals is at its lowest level yet, officials say the number of New Yorkers hospitalized due to the virus is still very high. At the same time, officials are debating when to reopen the region. 

On the same day that 758 people died in the state from coronavirus, a dispute erupted over how and when to reopen schools. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says they are to remain closed for the academic year. Governor Andrew Cuomo says it’s too soon to make that decision. Cuomo compared reopening the region to a complicated jigsaw puzzle between schools, businesses, and transportation.

“You have people who live in Connecticut who work in New York City. You have people who live in New York City who work in New Jersey. This all works as one, or it doesn’t work.”

Cuomo added that bringing testing to scale and Congress passing another stimulus package are also required to reopen the country.

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Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.