Cuomo: NY could withhold funds from schools in COVID red zones

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that schools located in COVID-19 hot spots across New York must be closed or the state would withhold funding from ones that remain open. 

On Wednesday afternoon, FOX 5 NY’s cameras observed yellow school buses dropping off children in Borough Park— which has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the city— despite Governor Cuomo’s orders to temporarily close schools.

“If the local government does not want to enforce the law, we will withhold funds from the local governments,” Cuomo says.

The New York State Dept. of Health is sending a letter warning local governments in cluster zones that schools will lose state funding if officials don’t step up enforcement.

New York City, Rockland, and Orange Counties are among the areas that should expect to receive a notice.

“For the schools that have been identified as violating the closure orders, they will be served today with a notice mandating they close and we are withholding funding from those schools,” Cuomo adds.

The Governor says that if numbers drop after two weeks, he will lift current restrictions.

However, if positivity rates continue to increase, schools and non-essential businesses will remain closed.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a Wednesday briefing that positivity rates seem to be “leveling off” in some of the city’s hard-hit neighborhoods.

Over the weekend, the city issued more than one-hundred summonses and more than $150,000 in fines across red, orange, and yellow zones.

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