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Fast Forward

Cuomo: ‘Red zone’ schools in Orthodox areas to reopen

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has released a plan to reopen schools in areas with high rates of coronavirus, many of which are concentrated in Orthodox areas like Borough Park and Kiryas Joel.

The plan requires mass testing before schools reopen, and subsequent weekly testing with rapid-result test kits provided by the state.

“We look forward to working with the yeshiva community and the governor’s office to help implement this plan to reopen our precious yeshivos,” said Agudath Israel of America, the Orthodox lobbying and advocacy group, in a statement.

The announcement comes after weeks of tension between state and local officials and the Haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, communities in Brooklyn, which were required to close schools and other businesses after as spike in coronaviurs cases last month.

The closures resulted in protests and attempts to lower positivity rates through increased testing of healthy people, and in some cases, fewer tests for the sick. Some yeshiva parents defied shutdown orders by opening schools in homes.

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