Cuomo: Limited high school graduation ceremonies can start June 26

This story was reported by Matthew Chayes, Vera Chinese language, Jesse Coburn, Lisa L. Colangelo, Michael O’Keeffe and Joie Tyrrell. It was written by Colangelo and Tyrrell

Excessive colleges throughout New York State can maintain restricted socially-distanced commencement ceremonies outside beginning June 26, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo introduced Sunday.

Cuomo stated the graduations will likely be restricted to 150 individuals nevertheless it was instantly unclear whether or not that included college students in addition to household and college.

Ceremonies will likely be allowed at the moment if the variety of COVID-19 instances throughout the state continues to say no, he stated.

“It offers us a few weeks between from time to time, God forbid, the quantity adjustments,” Cuomo stated throughout his each day information briefing. “However colleges must plan. With the progress we’ve made to this point and if we proceed this trajectory, we’ll be capable of try this.”

Earlier Sunday, Nassau County Govt Laura Curran stated the county was optimistic about permitting out of doors commencement ceremonies for seniors throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m talking to highschool officers who’ve superb plans on how we are able to do that,” she stated.

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, who had been asking Cuomo to permit out of doors, in-person commencement ceremonies, stated Cuomo’s announcement was “an encouraging step.”

“However it’s nonetheless essential to achieve the last word aim of getting all the Class of 2020 graduating collectively,” Kaminsky (D-Lengthy Seaside) stated in a press release. “Our college students deserve recognition for his or her large successes and we can’t cease pushing till they have fun this milestone collectively, in a secure and wholesome manner.”

Cuomo stated of 60,000 COVID-19 checks given throughout the state on Saturday, solely 781 yielded constructive outcomes. 

“That’s the bottom since March 16th which is earlier than we even shut down — about 1% constructive,” he stated. “ … That may be very, superb information.”

The statewide complete of COVID-19 instances is now 378,097. Greater than 80,000 of these instances have been on Lengthy Island: 40,904 in Nassau County and 40,329 in Suffolk County, in accordance with state officers.

A number of Lengthy Island faculty districts have already scheduled commencement occasions for seniors together with socially distant commencements, digital ceremonies and drive-up celebrations. 

Jericho Excessive Faculty held a social distancing commencement ceremony for its seniors this previous week the place graduates walked solo in cap and robe alone throughout the stage to select up a diploma in an empty auditorium and had been then photographed exterior with their mother and father, Superintendent Henry L. Grishman stated Sunday.

That occasion will likely be included in a video montage with different senior speeches and songs that will likely be launched on the morning of commencement June 26. The governor’s announcement won’t change these plans and the highschool with just below 300 college students is hoping to have a ceremony that each one can take part in on Aug. 8., Grishman stated. For districts resembling Jericho with a big graduating class, the logistics can be a problem.

“If we had been making an attempt to carry graduations with 150 most, it could imply 50 youngsters and 100 adults and that may imply six separate commencement ceremonies,” he stated. “And that’s with every child having two mother and father come and that’s not counting the employees members.

“We’re holding onto the potential of having some type of out of doors commencement on August Eight and that can rely on the quantity of people that will be capable of get collectively in a single occasion,” Grishman stated.

The William Floyd faculty district made plans weeks in the past in keeping with the steerage launched by the governor on June 4. The June 27 occasion — a curbside commencement — is scheduled to be a weeklong effort happening over 5 days to accommodate the district’s 600 plus graduates, during which seniors and members of their household will arrive to the highschool north entrance by automobile — with solely the graduate getting out to select up their diploma cowl, having their identify introduced and posing for a photograph which will likely be accessible at no cost obtain after the commencement ceremonies

With the most recent announcement, faculty officers there stated Sunday they are going to talk about their plans this week, in accordance with district spokesman James Montalto.

Backyard Metropolis Excessive Faculty senior Jamie Besendorfer, 17, stated there are nonetheless plans into account for graduation with a last determination anticipated in mid-June. There could also be an occasion with smaller teams or a postponement till July which might permit a bigger group to attend.

“I might say I’m very hopeful that there will likely be some kind of particular celebration regardless of the way it performs out however I’ll preserve my fingers and toes crossed that we are going to have a much bigger celebration,” stated Besendorfer.

Victoria Pegg, whose daughter Gabby Velazquez is a senior at Newfield Excessive Faculty in Selden, stated the district ought to use the highschool soccer area so all the scholars might have fun collectively at commencement.

“The youngsters will likely be very cautious,” she stated. “They might observe the foundations. They need this so unhealthy. All of us need this so unhealthy. You could possibly unfold out the chairs six toes aside. You possibly can have them put on masks… I actually assume you possibly can do that.”

Lengthy Island remains to be on observe to enter Part 2 of reopening Wednesday, as its numbers of infections and hospitalizations proceed to pattern downward. Underneath that section, retail shops barbershops and hair salons can serve clients contained in the shops with particular precautions. It additionally permits actual property companies, workplace jobs and administrative work.

Curran stated three individuals in Nassau County died of coronavirus Saturday and 56 new instances had been reported. The county had recorded zero deaths for the primary time in 81 days on Friday. 

Suffolk County Govt Steve Bellone stated at his Sunday COVID-19 briefing that the variety of individuals hospitalized with virus within the county was beneath 200 for the primary time since mid-March. The county’s peak variety of hospitalizations was 1,658 on April 11, officers stated.

“At the moment is a little bit of a milestone for us,” Bellone stated.

“We are actually all the way down to 179 individuals [hospitalized] in Suffolk County with COVID 19,” he stated. “That could be a lower of 21 from the prior day [June 5]. So that’s nice information that these numbers proceed to say no.”

Eight individuals died on Saturday he stated, bringing the full variety of COVID-19 fatalities in Suffolk to 1,931.

“That’s definitely not a quantity we noticed on the top of this however the numbers have been decrease than this for the final week or so and it was my hope that we might keep at that low stage and all the way down to zero,” he stated. 

Whereas New York Metropolis is on observe to begin its reopening course of on Monday with Part 1, Cuomo stated there may be nonetheless a priority that days of huge protests might have helped improve the unfold of COVID-19. He stated the state will check 35,000 individuals a day within the metropolis to get a snapshot of the an infection fee.

“We’ll watch it each day to seek out out precisely what is going on,” he stated.

New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice de Blasio additionally stated officers are in search of any impression of the protests on an uptick in virus transmission.

The state estimates the town will take two weeks to advance to Part 2, however de Blasio stated extra time could also be wanted.

“We had been the epicenter, and stay the epicenter of this illness on this state. Our reopening is far more complicated than some other a part of the state,” de Blasio stated. ” … We’re gonna be watching very fastidiously what’s occurring with our indicators and thresholds. If we don’t like what we see, we’re gonna decelerate the tempo. If we do like what we see, we would be capable of go even quicker.”

Additionally Sunday morning, volunteers gathered on the Hillside Islamic Middle in New Hyde Park to distribute 20,000 kilos of meals to local people organizations.

The hassle, organized by the Zakat Basis of America, a nonprofit charity primarily based in Illinois, notably seeks to assist these impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is very important assist our group,” stated Mohammad Imran Hossain, a regional improvement specialist at Zakat who oversaw the distribution work on Sunday.

Staff unloaded packing containers of contemporary apples, zucchini and different produce from a flatbed truck. Luis Mendez, a founding father of Empowering Younger Professionals of Lengthy Island, picked up 15 packing containers. He stated his group would pair the produce with rice and beans and provides it out it to dozens of Lengthy Island households on Sunday.

“The necessity is massive,” Mendez stated, noting many individuals have misplaced their jobs throughout the pandemic. 

Many state seashores and parks stuffed up shortly Sunday as individuals regarded to make the most of the sunny skies and heat temperatures. Capability in any respect websites has been slashed to make room for social distancing. Jones Seaside fields 2 and 6 had been closed by 11 a.m. and Robert Moses State Park simply previous midday.

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