Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that schools across New York state will remain closed for remainder of the academic year and distance learning will continue.

Cuomo says it’s the best course of action to keep students, educators and staff safe.

When it comes to re-opening schools, Cuomo says a plan needs to be in place that incudes monitoring the spread of coronavirus, while reinforcing student safety.

The governor says he’ll make a decision on summer school by the end of May.

Meanwhile, Cuomo says the number of COVID-19 deaths in New York was 289 on Thursday.

Today is day 62 of the coronavirus outbreak in New York state.

New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta issued the following statement  regarding the closure of schools statewide for the remainder of the academic year:

“We have said all along that the health and safety of students and educators must be the primary concern during this crisis. Keeping school buildings and colleges closed for the rest of this academic year is the smart choice. We will work with Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and state education and health officials on planning a safe and gradual re-opening. We also will continue advocating that summer school programming should be voluntary, with decisions on what is right for students made at the local level.”