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County Executive Bello: Schools Unlikely to Reopen This Spring

Patti Singer

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello at a news conference March 14, 2020, after the first few confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county. File photo

Whether to reopen schools in Monroe County will be a joint decision, with input from county officials, the school districts and New York state, according to County Executive Adam Bello.

On April 11, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was closing schools until September.

However, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said de Blasio didn’t have that authority.

Nevertheless, it led to the question of what is happening in Rochester and other districts in Monroe County.

At a news conference April 9, Monroe County Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said “in reality, the window of opportunity for us to reopen schools before the end of the school year is closing.”

Mendoza said he’s been meeting every week with school superintendents and the prospect of shutting down until the fall “is a big pill for everyone to swallow.”

On April 11, Bello was asked whether he was ready to make an announcement about closings. He made the following statement:

“Monroe County consulted with the superintendents of all 22 Monroe County school districts and we collectively decided to close schools on March 16, 2020. While it appears unlikely they will reopen during the 2019-2020 school year, we will continue to jointly monitor this unprecedented closing and do what is necessary to protect our community. …”