The order to close all schools on Long Island for two weeks to prevent the spread of coronavirus is likely to be extended beyond April 1 since the pandemic is expected to peak after that date, officials said Thursday.
Nassau and Suffolk county officials both said they expect the closures to continue beyond next week since COVID-19’s peak in New York State is anticipated in two to three weeks and sending children back to school during that time would be ill advised. But the decision to extend the closures would come from New York State, which superseded county officials’ school closure orders last week with one of its own.
“I believe it is unlikely schools will reopen on April first,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran told reporters Thursday, noting that she is awaiting guidance from New York State.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone echoed the sentiments in his daily conference call with reporters from his home, where he remains quarantined through the weekend after two of his aides were diagnosed with coronavirus.
“The expectation that people should have is that is going to be extended,” Bellone said. “School districts have set up and continue to set up distance learning and there’s a reason for that. And the reason is we’ve always suspected that this would go on for potentially an extended period.”
He said he expects a determination from the state in the near future. During Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus press briefing, state officials said the school closures are currently under review.
“We’re looking at that on an ongoing basis,” Cuomo said.
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