The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and New York State Education Department (NYSED) encourage all schools to utilize the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance as they plan for the 2022-23 school year. The CDC recommendations are based upon COVID-19 community levels (low, medium, high) to provide flexibility for schools to adapt to changing local situations. That summary is below:
Recommendation to stay up-to-date: Staying up-to-date on vaccinations is essential to prevent people from getting severely ill with COVID-19.
Not required. Remains optional: Universal masking in school is not required at this time. Individuals returning to school after completing 5 days of isolation should wear a mask in school on Days 6-10, in accordance with CDC recommendations. Masks are recommended in school health offices and when COVID community levels are high. Masks are not required on the school bus.
Stay home when sick: Students with symptoms of COVID 19 should stay home and/or be sent home. Testing is recommended as soon as possible for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 should not attend school and isolate for 5 days at home. For those who are symptomatic, Day 1 is the first full day after the onset of symptoms (Day 0 is the day symptoms began). For those experiencing no symptoms, Day 0 is the day tested (not the day of the positive test result) and Day 1 is the first full day following the day tested. Once isolation has ended, people should wear a well-fitting mask around others through Day 10.
No longer recommended: Quarantine is no longer recommended for individuals who are exposed to COVID-19. The CDC recommends that those exposed to COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status or history of prior COVID-19 infection, wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days in public indoor settings (including school settings) and test on or after Day 5 or sooner if symptoms develop.
No longer required.
Testing not required: Diagnostic and screen testing is not required, but schools may provide or connect individuals to diagnostic testing or screen testing as needed. Schools no longer need to test unvaccinated staff and schools are not required to report daily test results to DOH. Schools which operate under a limited service laboratory (LSL) will be required to report positive case results as they occur. Additionally, schools will not be required to conduct contact tracing.
Cleaning and disinfection
The CDC recommends schools clean surfaces at least once a day to reduce the risk of germs spreading by touching surfaces.