In separate actions Thursday, Oct. 22, state Sen. James Skoufis and Assemblyman Karl Brabenec called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to amend yellow hot spot zone.
“Enough is enough,” Skoufis, the Democrat who represents the area, said in his statement. He continued:
“Governor Cuomo must amend his ‘yellow’ hotspot zone to exclude Monroe-Woodbury’s North Main Elementary School. The students and staff in the school have seen zero or near-zero cases of COVID-19 since the school year resumed in September and the continued restrictions imposed on them fly in the face of science and reasonableness.
A matter of 50 feet
“In fact, their original inclusion appears to have been an oversight on the part of the Governor’s office. On an October 6 phone call with his senior staff, I engaged in a lengthy conversation regarding what, if any, impact the Kiryas Joel-area zone would have on the Monroe-Woodbury School District. While the maps were not yet released, the Governor’s staff repeatedly assured me that there would be no impact whatsoever on Monroe-Woodbury schools because none of the actual school buildings were located in the newly established zone.
“Shortly thereafter, the maps were released and it became clear that North Main Elementary was, indeed, located on the very edge of the yellow zone extending from Kiryas Joel; if the school was located approximately 50 feet across the street, it would be outside the yellow zone and subject to no new restrictions.
“No one appreciates and supports the need for robust, comprehensive public health measures more than I do. That said, North Main Elementary poses no different or additional COVID-19 risk than any other school in our region that is located outside these hotspot zones. Governor Cuomo’s office clearly made an error including North Main Elementary in the yellow zone. Instead of doubling down and punishing the school’s children, they ought to immediately fix this egregious situation.”
‘The children of Monroe deserve no less’
Meanwhile, Brabenec, the Deerpark Republican whose Assembly District includes Monroe and Palm Tree/Kiryas Joel, voiced similar concerns in his statement:
“We need to ensure public health, but we also need our children to be able to properly learn and grow. The inclusion of North Main Elementary was obviously an unfortunate error. Were it located approximately 50 feet across the street, it would be out of the zone.
“Given that North Main Elementary poses no different or additional COVID-19 risk than any other school in our region that is located outside these hotspot zones, I again implore Gov. Cuomo to exercise common sense and exclude North Main Elementary from the ‘yellow’ hotspot zone. The children of Monroe deserve no less.”