Governor Andrew Cuomo wants all school districts in New York State to review their plans to reopen to see how they would handle a coronavirus outbreak similar to the one currently seen at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
“Look at this, then take a look at the plan to reopen your school and how to make sure you don’t find yourself in this situation. What was your testing procedure? Could it have grown this big so quickly? Cuomo said.
Cuomo wants to know if plans to reopen schools would be able to catch the spread before an outbreak becomes as large as the one currently seen in Notre Dame.
“If you can’t answer yes, there’s a problem,” Cuomo said.
On a call with reporters, Cuomo suggested that an outbreak at a K-12 school would be more of a problem than an outbreak at a college.
“Frankly, in college it’s not that bad because the student infects other students. K-12 if you have 130 positive students, it’s not 130, it’s 500 because a student would have gone home and dealt with people from his immediate family, ”Cuomo said.
“The bottom line is that opening schools is risky and problematic,” Cuomo added.
A little more context: Notre Dame has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases since students returned to campus on August 3. On Tuesday, 147 students tested positive, according to the school’s online health dashboard. There were 80 positive cases from 418 tests administered on Monday, meaning there was a 19% positivity rate.
On Tuesday, the university announced it was suspending in-person classes for two weeks.