Gov. Hochul continues vow to keep kids in school during COVID spike

New coronavirus cases and hospitalizations keep climbing.

In a 24 hour period from Sunday to Monday, 26,737 people tested positive. The infection rate is now 16.05%. There are 5,526 people hospitalized. Between Saturday and Sunday, 132 people died.

Gov. Hochul says she expects the COVID surge we saw before Christmas will continue, and likely worsen this week. Despite the number of pediatric cases growing two to three times over the last month, she said at this moment, she is determined to send kids back to school January 3.

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Hochul referred to last year’s hybrid learning and lengthy quarantines as an experiment that everyone learned from, one that kept students from learning much.

"The results are now showing the learning did not continue the way it should have, and we had hoped it would," said Hochul.

The governor said she’ll be on a call with all 500 superintendents Tuesday to address specific concerns, but numbers show so far that kids are safe at school.

On the topic of youth vaccines and boosters, the numbers are still low for kids age 5-11 – and the acting health commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett, says that needs to change.

"Many people continue to think that children don’t become infected with COVID. This is not true," said Bassett.

Hochul encourages parents to use the holiday break to take their children in to be vaccinated or for older teens to get boosted.
She also discussed the COVID test shortage, and the state’s plan to distribute millions of them in the coming days.

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Learn more about that, by watching the video of Jerry Gretzinger’s story.