Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State will decide whether schools will reopen in the fall during the first week of August. New York State is now consulting with stakeholders on guidance, which will be finalized on July 13. Plans to reopen schools are due on July 31.

The governor also announced that all county fairs will be canceled until further notice out of an abundance of caution. Governor Cuomo previously announced that the New York State Fair will be canceled this summer.

Governor Cuomo also announced beginning Friday, July 10, malls can open in regions that have entered Phase IV of reopening if they have implemented an enhanced Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning – or HVAC – filtration system and follow proper ventilation protocols. HVAC systems will be required to include filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value – or MERV – rating of which filters out the COVID-19 virus, but can, if the system makes additional protections, run on a minimum MERV of 11. Ventilation protocols include increased outdoor air, reduced air circulation, longer system run times, and frequent filter checks.  

Governor Cuomo also announced that New York State will provide 1,000 masks and 1,000 2-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer for the Fire Island COVID Destroyers – a partnership that includes GMHC and Fire Island community leaders – to distribute on Fire Island.  

The governor also updated New Yorkers on the state’s progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Long Island enters Phase IV of reopening today. The number of new cases, percentage of tests that were positive, and many other helpful data points are always available at forward.ny.gov.

“We have been consulting all stakeholders on guidance for how a school would reopen in September. We have 700 school districts in this state, and they range from rural to urban to suburban areas. Localities are very involved in their schools and school decisions, so we have been meeting with them,” Governor Cuomo said. “During the first week of August, the state will announce a decision on whether or not those schools reopen, and we want to make that decision with the best available data because facts change here day to day and week to week. A week can be a lifetime with this virus because everything changes so quickly. The schools say they need a decision made by the end of the first week in August so they can then turn on the switches and get everything ready for September, and we’ll look at the data in that first week, and then we’ll make a decision.”

The Governor also confirmed 692 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 398,929 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 398,929 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, there are 196 cases in Herkimer County with 4 deaths.