Gov. Cuomo Closes All Schools in Neighborhoods with Upticks Tomorrow, Shuls Stay Open if They Follow Rules

Gov. Cuomo Closes All Schools in Neighborhoods with Upticks Tomorrow, Shuls Stay Open if They Follow Rules
By Yehudit Garmaise


  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo just announced that he will close the public and private schools in the areas in the state that are currently experiencing upticks in COVID infection. Those areas are: Brooklyn, Orange County, Rockland County, Broome County, and Nassau County also could be included, the governor just said at a press conference.

    “We must attack the clusters,” said Governor Cuomo, who compared the 1.01% low positivity rate statewide to fields of dried grass and the hotspots with rates of 3% or higher to be like burning embers.

   “We have to run to the embers, and stamp them out,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We will see people die if we don’t see enforcement [of the safety protocols in these areas.”

   Cuomo explained that the strict enforcement of disallowing people to enter bars and restaurants saved many lives, and that the same strict enforcements should be used for schools and religious mass gathering, which he called “super spreaders.”

   “We are not going to make the same mistake twice,” said Cuomo who showed photos of frum men not wearing masks and not socially distanced at two shul gatherings that took place in the last weeks. 

   In his proposal to Gov. Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio had asked to keep religious institutions open, which Cuomo agreed to as long as religious institutions “agree to the rules and stick to the rules.”

   Gov. Cuomo said that “Some religious leaders believe they have herd immunity, which has not been proven. Some believe that masks are ineffective and that all of this is a hoax.”

     “But if [the religious leaders] agree, and we have the ability to enforce [those rules], we will go with reduced guidelines: 50% of masked people in spaces that are primarily outdoors.”

   Cuomo said his measures are crucial as he asked rhetorically, “Can you tamp out the embers before it is a fire that is out of control?

    “Could we have gotten to Wuhan and stamp it out before it spread?” Cuomo asked. “We did stamp it out in New Rochelle,” which Cuomo said was the nation’s first hotspot.

   Once the schools and mass gatherings are shut down, the state must establish the criteria for reopening, such as testing data and over what period of time the state can reopen these places, Gov. Cuomo said.

   “If the religious leaders do not agree to abide by these rules, we will close them,” Cuomo said. “I don’t have a problem with that.
   “If they agree, I will only go forward if I know I have a state supervised enforcement action.”

  “Politicians usually want to make people happy, but I want to see them alive.”

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