Governor Cuomo says as 700 school districts around New York State prepare to open, an increase in the spread of COVID-19 is "inevitable".

In comments to reporters yesterday, the Governor says "It is inevitable that when you bring a concentration of people together, the viral transmission is going to go up."

The Governor says it will come down to how well a school district are following their own plans, and complying with measures like mask wearing and social distancing.

Cuomo compared the experience on New York's college campuses to what he expects to be "replicated" in K-12 districts. Just this week, SUNY Oneonta was forced to revert to online learning for two weeks when over 100 people tested positive for COVID-19.

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While acknowledging there is more socialization on college campuses - experts point to off-campus parties as one cause for the increase in college cases - Cuomo says he parents shouldn't be "shocked when we get to September and school districts say, "we're starting with in-person and the in-person will have a percentage of testing" and then schools wind up going to remote or cancelling certain classes, etc. That is going to happen."

The Governor has said earlier the state would step in to close schools if the number cases got too high. For college campuses, that metric is 100 cases or 5% of the student population, whichever is greater. So far, public schools have not been notified of a specific metric that warrants a switch to all-virtual instruction.


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