News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Governor Cuomo

Attention Bowlers!  Cuomo Lets Lanes Reopen Monday

Attention Bowlers!  Governor

Will Let Lanes Reopen Monday

ALBANY – Governor Cuomo today announced bowling alleys throughout New York State will be allowed to reopen starting Monday with strict safety protocols in place.

Bowling alleys will be able to operate at a 50-percent maximum occupancy limit; face coverings and social distancing will be required at all times; every other lane must be closed; patrons need to stay with the party at their assigned lane; thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared or rented equipment between each use will be required; and all food service must follow all state-issued guidance.

NY COVID Cases Dip For Fifth Day In Row

NY COVID Cases Dip

For Fifth Day In Row

For the fifth consecutive day, New York State’s infection rate has been below 1 percent, even as, for the second straight day, a record number of New Yorkers were tested, 87,900, Governor Cuomo said today in his daily report. “These numbers are by no means a coincidence,” he said. “They’re the result of our hard work to stop the spread and crush the curve. Together we are wearing masks in public, socially distancing and getting tested whenever needed. Keep the behavior up so we can keep the numbers down. It’s up to us, New York.”
By Mistake, Governor Puts CCS On Tardy List


By Mistake, Governor

Puts CCS On Tardy List

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown School Superintendent Bill Crankshaw couldn’t believe it when he saw CCS on Governor Cuomo’s list of 107 schools that had not yet sent in their re-opening plan.

Bill Crankshaw

“Professionally, I’m offended,” he said. “There was a flaw in the submission process, and no school wants to be publicly shamed for a mistake.”

According to Crankshaw, the school board, after filing for an extension on its reopening plan, submitted the plan to the state Education Department Thursday, Aug. 6, one day before the Friday deadline.

However, he said, CCS missed it was also supposed to submit the plan to the state Department of Health, and since rectified the mistake.

“We are not in danger of not reopening,” he said. “But this just shows how little regard Cuomo gives to public education.”

On Friday, Aug. 7, Cuomo announced all schools in the state are cleared to open, but stopped short of demanding a reopening, leaving the final decisions to the district.

Under their submitted plan, students in each grade will be divided up into two “cohorts,” which will attend classes on campus two alternating days a week – Cohort A will attend Mondays and Wednesdays, Cohort B will attend Tuesdays and Thursdays – as well as every other Friday.

On the days they are not in class, students will use online curriculum, including pre-recorded lessons, projects related to in-person lessons and independent practice.

With concerns about connectivity in the more rural areas of the district, the school has ordered Wifi “hot spots” for students who have cell-phone service but no Internet access, and will also set up a socially distanced common area for students who wish to do their online learning on campus.

“We’ll have a 20- by 40-foot tent with a heater for cooler days,” said Crankshaw. “It will be monitored, and students can do their work in there.”

Students will be required to wear masks on campus. “That’s non-negotiable,” he said.

Crankshaw said the school is still working on a formal procedure to deal with any students who may begin exhibiting COVID symptoms during the day, including ordering testing and contact tracing. That plan will be in place before the start of the school year, he said.

Though elementary students were supposed to start returning to classrooms Sept. 21 – with online curriculum for two weeks following the planned start date of Sept. 9 – Crankshaw said the current thinking is to have all students return at the same time.

In Oneonta, schools will not open for in-person classes until Oct. 6, Superintendent Thomas Brindley announced last week. Instead, all learning will continue to take place remotely.

“We knew Cuomo would make some sort of decision, but because it’s been left to the districts, nothing has changed for us,” he said.

Similar to Cooperstown, Oneonta has reached out to families that do not have Internet access to figure out the best way to help them access online classes. “We’ve had approximately 40 families express some need for Wifi,” he said. “So we’re ordering mobile hot spots to give them.”

The school will also continue to distribute free meals the same way they did in the spring.

“Ultimately, we will come back to the building,” he said. “We want to create as normal a schedule as we can so we can return as seamlessly as possible.”

Statewide, COVID Rates Low Enough To Open All Schools


Statewide, COVID

Rates Low Enough

To Open All Schools

Locally, Districts Must Organize

Briefings For Parents, Teachers

ALBANY – All of New York State’s 10 regions – Otsego County’s Mohawk Valley region included – have low enough infection rates to reopen this fall, but how to do so will be up to local schools, as reflected in plans developed locally, Governor Cuomo announced in a conference call this morning.

“Based on our infection rate,” Cuomo said, “New York State is in the best possible situation right now. If anybody can open schools, we can open schools. We do masks, we do social distancing, we’ve kept that infection rate down, and we can bring the same level of intelligence to the school reopening that we brought to the economic reopening.”

The districts must follow state Department of Health guidelines, detailed here.

Cuomo: No Food, No  Drink At Bars


Cuomo: No Food,

No  Drink At Bars

ALBANY – Bars and restaurants throughout New York State will no longer be allowed to serve alcohol to customers unless they also order food, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a conference call with reporters this morning, is reporting.

For now, it appears only the online arm of Syracuse Newspapers has the report.

In addition, patrons will no longer be allowed to order alcohol by walking up to bars, Cuomo said. Customers will only be allowed to order and consume their drinks while seated at least 6 feet apart.


COVID-19 BRIEFING/July 6, 2020



Governor Looks Ahead

To Fall School Opening

Here are highlights of today’s COVID-19 briefing by Governor Cuomo:

• The New York State Fair is canceled this year out of an abundance of caution. While disappointing for many reasons, the risk is too high to hold the Fair this summer.

• The State is planning for the fall school year. The New York State Department of Health, in consultation with the Reimagine Education Advisory Council and others, is finalizing guidance on the possible reopening of schools in September. Every school district throughout the State has been directed to develop reopening plans. At the moment, no decisions have been made on whether schools are reopening in the fall. We will follow the data, and make a decision on the data.

Youth Sports To Be Allowed In Phase Three


Youth Sports

To Be Allowed

In Phase Three

NEW YORK CITY – Governor Cuomo today announced low-risk youth sports for regions in Phase Three, like Otsego County, can can begin on July 6 with up to two spectators allowed per child.

He also announced the state is extending the special open enrollment period in the State of Health Health Plan Marketplace for an additional 30 days through July 15.

Cuomo also:

Hospitalizations, Deaths Continue To Drop In NYS



Deaths Continue

To Drop In NYS

NEW YORK CITY – New York State is at the lowest number of deaths and hospitalizations since the pandemic began, Governor Cuomo reported today in his daily briefing.

The number of total hospitalizations was down yesterday to lowest level since March 20 to 1,734. Thirty-two people in New York passed away due to COVID-19, down from a record-high of 800 just nine weeks ago.

The Governor also:

Cuomo: Churches Can Open At 25% Capacity


Cuomo: Churches Can

Open At 25% Capacity

NYC Deaths At 35, Down From 800 Peak

ALBANY – Governor Cuomo today announced churches and others places of worship may reopen with 25 percent occupancy with all social distancing protocols in place during Phase Two of reopening.

That includes Otsego County’s Mohawk Valley Region and six other of the state’s regions.

The governor also announced:

Cuomo Permits Outdoor Seating At NY Restaurants


Cuomo Permits

Outdoor Seating

At NY Restaurants

ALBANY – Governor Cuomo today announced outdoor dining at restaurants will be permitted in Otsego County and communities in the seven economic development communities that have entered Phase Two of NY Forward.

Outdoor dining can begin tomorrow in Otsego’s Mohawk Valley region, and also the Capital Region, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, the North Country, the Southern Tier and Western New York.

Cuomo Shifts Focus To Riots: ‘Real Issue Is Racism’ In Nation


Cuomo Shifts Focus

To Riots: ‘Real Issue

Is Racism’ In Nation

In his coronavirus briefing today, Governor Cuomo announced dentists may now open their offices statewide.

ALBANY – On his 80th day of daily briefings, Governor Cuomo today shifted the topic from the receding pandemic threat to the riots that grew out of George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis.

Saying “the real issue is racism in our country,” the governor:

10 Testing Sites Open As NYC Cases Drop


10 Testing Sites Open

As NYC Cases Drop

NEW YORK CITY – Governor Cuomo, during today’s briefing, announced that New York State will open 10 additional testing sites – one for each zip code – in New York City COVID hotspots.

Controlling the virus’ spread in the city’s hotspots, which are located in predominately low income and minority communities, is a top priority as it moves toward Phase 1 of reopening on June 8, the governor said. Six testing sites will be in the Bronx, three will be in Brooklyn and one will be in Queens.

NYC Looks To Phase 1, Otsego, Others Allowed To Shop, Work Again


NYC Looks To Phase 1,

Otsego, Others Allowed

To Shop, Work Again


ALBANY – It’s a sign of a pandemic on the run.

At today’s briefing, Governor Cuomo today announced even New York City, which has suffered from CORONA-19 more than almost any community in the world, will enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 8.

He also also announced five other regions, including Mohawk Valley (Otsego County’s) can enter Phase 2″, where offices and stores can reopen, and where you can even get a haircut.

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