COOPERSTOWN – At a time of heightened concern about voting and related procedures, Cooperstown’s Tony Casale, the former state Assemblyman, has been appointed to the vacancy on the four-member state Board of Elections.
Governor Cuomo made the appointment yesterday on the recommendation of state Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy.
The board has two co-chairs, recommended to the governor by the legislative leaders; the other two are recommended by the state party chairs. The board must consist of two Republicans and two Democrats.
COOPERSTOWN – The first meeting of Cooperstown’s Community Advisory Board on policing is at 5 p.m. today in the Village Hall ballroom, and open to the public.
The CAB was mandated by Governor Cuomo, after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and the resulting unrest. The board must review Village Police Department policies and procedures and forward its recommendations to Albany next April l.
COOPERSTOWN – Reach out and be inspected, so you can reopen, county Board Chair David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield today advised operators of gyms and fitness centers.
“Normally we don’t issue permits to these establishments, so the Health Department may not be aware of every facility looking to reopen,” said Bliss. “We need them to contact us so we can work with them and get them open as soon as possible and make sure they are in compliance and help any way that we can.”
The businesses should e-mail business name, specific business type, location and owner’s name (and contact person) to the county Health Department at firstname.lastname@example.org (and meet other requirements detailed below.)
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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, syracuse.com 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.
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.
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.