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Cuomo says no decision yet on closing NYC schools for rest of school year, despite de Blasio announcement

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo denied Saturday that New York City schools will be closed for the rest of the year because of the coronavirus, hours after Mayor Bill de Blasio said they would.

“There’s been no decision on schools,” Cuomo said in Albany at his daily coronavirus briefing.

Cuomo said of de Blasio: “He didn’t close them and he can’t open them.”

He said it could happen that New York City schools will remain closed for the school year but the decision will be made in consultation with the New York City suburbs and New Jersey and Connecticut.

Cuomo said he shuttered the schools in March and it is his decision on what happens in the coming weeks.

“It is my legal authority on this, yes,” he said.

Hours earlier de Blasio said at a press conference: “After very careful consideration, I announce today that the New York City public schools will remain closed for the remainder of this school year.

“There is nothing easy about this decision.”

NY CORONAVIRUS CURVE ‘FLATTENING’ CUOMO SAYS AS STATE SEES HIGHEST SINGLE DAY DEATH TOLL

New York City schools were closed in mid-March amid mounting pressure as the coronavirus spread through the city. They were initially closed until April 20, the end of spring break. Cuomo since extended the closings of schools across the state until April 29.

De Blasio said Saturday that he had been resistant initially to closing schools because people rely on them, not only for education but for care during the day and even food and other social services such as healthcare and laundry.

“It was literally a painful decision to close the schools because we feared at that moment that we would not be able to bring them back, and I said that bluntly from the very beginning that if we close the schools there was a very strong likelihood we wouldn’t be able to bring them back for this school year,” he said.

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“We knew that would be a really huge problem in terms of what we would lose in the education of our children, what families would lose, so many families who depend and still depend on our school system for food, for their children, for the safe place for their kids to be, we knew a lot was being lost, but we also knew…it was the right thing to do to protect everyone,” he said.

New York City has been one of the areas hardest hit by the virus, even despite strong stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place at both the state and city level.

Cuomo said on Wednesday that while the curve was “flattening” in New York, but he didn’t know if the state would ever get back to no new cases. Cuomo on Saturday said there have been 8,627 deaths in the state.

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“I don’t think we return to normal. I don’t think we return to yesterday,” Cuomo said at a press conference. “I think if we’re smart, we achieve a new normal.”

Fox News’ Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.

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