Incoming Governor Kathy Hochul visited P.S. 143, the Louis Armstrong School, in Corona, Queens on Wednesday to speak with administrators about a safe transition for all students returning to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hochul, who’ll replace departing Governor Andrew Cuomo on Aug. 24, stressed the importance of vigilance in the schools as New York continues to battle the highly-contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.
“There is a tremendous amount of anxiety among parents, teachers, administrators, who thought what we went through last year would be it,” Hochul said. “The Delta variant has changed the dynamic considerably; we have to continue being vigilant.”
School administrators shared that many safety precautions have been put in place ahead of the upcoming academic year. On top of standard personal protective equipment, the school has a carbon dioxide reader that measures the carbon dioxide levels in a room, ensuring proper ventilation is present. Every custodian in the school has one to check for air flow in any given space.
The current lieutenant governor said that there is no doubt that children need to be back in school.
“This time away from school, away from the life they used to know, has been debilitating to our children, and we’re going to have to help them recover,” Hochul said.
Hochul recommended mental health services for children and promised to continue conversations with superintendents and other school representatives about how best to help students safely get back into their routines.
“I need the time to continue interviews, [listen] to people, get people’s opinions and [put] together the dream team to run the state of NY into the future,” Hochul said.
Hochul mentioned her strong work relationship with Mayor Bill de Blasio will be immense in their efforts to protect children as they head back to school.