Coronavirus Update: Yonkers Public Schools opt for all-remote learning to start the academic year

YONKERS, Westchester County (WABC) -- Yonkers Public Schools in Westchester County will begin the academic year with all-remote learning, the Board of Education announced on Thursday, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff will supply lessons from the school buildings, but students will attend class remotely using a laptop, notebook, iPad, etc.

The District will continue to offer laptops and tablets to families in need through a loaner program.

Yonkers' school year begins on September 8th.

In-person learning is delayed until at least October 5th, officials said.

Yonkers is the fourth largest school district in New York with more than 27,000 students.

Although Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in early August that New York schools can reopen for the fall semester, he warned that opening schools is "risky and problematic" as the start of the school year coincides with the beginning of flu season.

Cuomo said the flu and COVID-19 will stress the state's testing capacity.

"You put the flu season on top of COVID," Cuomo said. "This is a very difficult situation to deal with, and that's going to be the second wave."

He says schools will be doing temperature checks on the way in, and they're looking for symptomatic children.

RELATED: How New York City and Tri-State area universities, colleges are reopening for fall 2020

In New York City, the United Federation of Teachers said on Wednesday that no schools in New York City should open unless they meet certain health criteria.
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Derick Waller reports the union wants safety protocols in place before NYC schools open



"We are not going back to hell because of short-sighted political agendas," UFT President Michael Mulgrew said.

Meanwhile, the government's top infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that reopening schools will look different in different parts of the country, though he urged areas with high rates of cases to "think twice" before reopening schools. He also said that reopening is not "all or nothing," that schools may have to "modify the things you do," such as wearing masks, having classes outside or having hybrid learning environments.

He criticized the federal coronavirus response saying that he would "like to see a consistent message for school reopening" from the federal government to guide the local authorities.



RELATED: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut out-of-state travelers quarantine list

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