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With 'Report Card,' NY says it will be better equipped to track COVID cases among schoolchildren


The start of the school year has brought about questions regarding the capability of districts in tracking COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools. 

On Tuesday Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a “COVID-19 Report Card” which provides parents with daily information on student and faculty numbers at schools, positive COVID-19 cases, and whether students are participating in in-class learning, remote learning, or a hybrid of the two. That information will be provided by the school districts, in conjunction with local health departments and laboratories.

With concerns about the spread of the virus within schools and another shutdown, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said despite a slight uptick in positive cases in Western New York, positive case rates remain low.

“The metric that was put in place a while back,” she said. “Was that if a region has 9% or higher infection rate overall, that will result in the automatic closing of schools. We’re nowhere near that.”

As to whether she believes the first month of the school year will run like years past, Hochul says that cannot be expected in such an unprecedented time.

“We never promised a smooth rollout,” she said. “We are living through a global pandemic. We are doing the best we can, [the] very first time any of us have been through this. We’re listening to experts on what we can do to get parents that since of security they need to have before they let their treasure, their child, walk into a school building, whether it’s a kindergartener or 12th grader, it’s still your child.”

Hochul said reconfiguring the school system has been difficult from the beginning but hopes districts are following the recommended guidelines the state has provided them.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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