ALBANY COUNTY — All school buildings in New York state will be closed for two weeks, effective Wednesday, March 18, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on Monday, March 16 amid concerns over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As a result, local affected school districts include Bethlehem, North and South Colonie, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk and Guilderland.
“The single most effective way to slow the spread of this virus is to reduce close contacts, and that includes in our schools,” Cuomo said. “I am directing the closure of all schools throughout the state for two weeks as we continue working aggressively to ramp up testing, isolate those who are sick and mitigate the impacts of this virus.”
He continued, “Every district will be required to submit a plan to ensure children of healthcare workers and first responders have access to child care so these closures do not strain our hospitals and that children who depend on school meal programs continue getting the support they need.”
Cuomo added that school districts must have a plan for alternative instruction, distance learning, provision of meals, and daycare, especially for families who have first responders and healthcare workers. Such plans must be submitted to the state Education Department which may modify them while consulting the state Department of Health and the Office of Children and Family Services.
To check what your local school district is each doing to address the pandemic, distance learning, let students pick up their belongings from school and provide meals for eligible students, visit their respective website.