Orange County schools in COVID-19 red zone seemingly open despite cease-and-desist orders
Yeshivas in Orange County's red zone were seemingly still open Wednesday, despite stepped up enforcement action there this week.
News 12 went to those yeshivas Wednesday afternoon and instead of being shut down, there were dozens of buses picking up kids at dismissal and students inside crowded buildings as if it were a normal school day.
United Talmudical Academy and Congregation Bnai Yoel in Kiryas Joel both remained open Wednesday, despite executive orders to close and cease-and-desist orders.
County inspectors found a third school, Sheri Torah Goldberger, open in the red zone this week but it appeared closed as of Wednesday when News 12 was there.
The crackdown promises fines up to $15,000 for schools and local governments that aren't complying with efforts to lower soaring infection rates in hot spot communities.
Kiryas Joel and other Hasidic red zone areas have a history of noncompliance. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is now threatening to pull public funding for private schools defying his orders as a result.
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus says his office is working closely with the state to enforce the law adding, "Local towns allowing these schools to continue to stay open and the school districts themselves are in the governor's crosshairs, not the county's."
News 12 reached out to Kiryas Joel officials but has not heard back.