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New York changes graduation, voting rules ADVERTISEMENT

New York changes graduation, voting rules

NEW YORK STATE--In his daily press briefings Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced two significant changes in the regulations put in place because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The governor will allow outdoor graduation celebrations and also extended the mail-in deadline for school voting.
For graduations, Cuomo said outdoor, socially distanced graduations of up to 150 people will be allowed beginning Friday, June 26, subject to any outbreaks or significant changes in the metrics.
"In terms of reopening, we have been calibrating our strategy based on the data and the facts, and overall the numbers are down, the numbers are good and our plan is working," Cuomo said. "Based on today's numbers we can continue to advance our reopening, and we will now allow outdoor graduations of up to 150 beginning June 26. New Yorkers have worked together to bend this curve quickly, and if we continue on this trajectory, remain responsible and follow all social distancing protocols, we can keep accelerating our reopening strategy."
Earlier in the week, a slide in his daily televised press conference seemed to indicate he would not allow graduations because they encouraged congregations of people, but then changed course on Sunday, June 7 with the limits on attendees.
Area schools have honored the Class of 2020 with various types of banners and signs, virtual award programs and other drive-thru style events. Many schools have said they have a number of options for graduation that could be used as the regulations change.
In response to the news, Watkins Glen Central School District posted on Facebook they would be moving graduation to June 27 with a rain date of June 28.
"We are awaiting more guidance from the state, but it is likely we will be holding two or three small, shortened and socially-distanced graduation ceremonies on Alumni Field where students will walk the stage and graduate with their peers in the company of their immediate family," the statement said in part.
Governor Cuomo also announced the addition of extra time for schools to receive mail-in ballots from voters. The new executive order allows ballots through the mail to be accepted until June 16. The deadline for hand delivery remains unchanged at 5 p.m. on June 9.
As of Monday, June 8, the Yates County Public Health Department shows there are no confirmed active cases in the county. There have been 43 total positive cases; 36 recovered and seven died. Two are in isolation or quarantine.
Schuyler County also shows no confirmed active cases. 14 were positive and 14 recovered. Six are in isolation or quarantine.

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