New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says schools across the state will remain shut down longer because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo Friday announced all schools will be closed through at least April 15. That's two weeks longer than his initial order.

The governor had indicated the shutdown directive would be reevaluated on April 1. In recent days, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York state has been rising dramatically.

Cuomo previously waived a requirement that all school districts provide at least 180 days of instruction in order to qualify for state aid. He said the waiver has been extended to April 15.

Many school districts already had planned to remain closed through mid-April.

The governor said if the coronavirus trends continue the way they've been going, he likely would extend the school closing order by another two weeks.

During his briefing in New York City, Cuomo said the number of COVID-19 deaths in the state had increased to 519. That was an increase of 134 deaths over the past day.

An electronic message board in front of Binghamton High School on March 23, 2020. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

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