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COVID-19 Infection Rates In N.Y. Schools Stay Stable

School Student Carries Backpack
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New York Schools have largely remained open during the pandemic.

The rate of COVID-19 has been climbing in New York, as everywhere else in the U.S., but the rate of infection in schools has remained low.

Rob Schneider, head of New York State School Boards Association, said many districts continue to offer some in-person learning, even in communities that are under state restrictions to manage high positivity rates.

“You’re in a school building all day with a controlled group, if you will. You have the cohorts. You have the students in the building. You have all of the protocols and procedures in place. Everybody is trained," Schneider said keeping schools safe and productive doesn’t come cheap.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has withheld 20% of state aid payments owed to schools to stem a multi-billion deficit.

Schneider said another challenge facing schools is the digital divide because 27% of students don’t have the proper devices to learn from home.

Schneider said schools also want to address potential mental and emotional issues among students who’ve faced months of stress.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.