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New COVID-19 guidelines for New York schools



Albany, New York – On Monday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced in a press conference that New York State schools will have new guidelines for how to handle COVID-19 exposures and cases this year.

These new guidelines are, for the most part, relaxing last year’s rules in line with CDC guidance. “Here in New York, we want to be fully aligned with the CDC,” Hochul said.

Parents are recommended to vaccinate their children ahead of the school year.

Previous guidelines required that if an individual tested positive in a classroom, the entire class would be temporarily remote for a short period.

The state will no longer require quarantining for those exposed to COVID-19. Additionally, test-to-stay policies are also no longer mandatory, meaning that exposed but unsymptomaitc members of the classroom will no longer be required to test negative to stay in school. However, they will be required to wear a mask for 10 days following the exposure. Individuals who test positive will still be subject to five-day isolation, and asked to wear a mask upon returning. Random testing will no longer be required by the state, but schools and districts may still choose to do so, depending on the circumstances of COVID-19 cases.

According to Hochul, the priority behind these new guidelines is to keep kids in school and not focus on remote learning.

“Those days are over,” Hochul said. “We now have two years of experience to know that children are safe in classrooms. And when they’re not in a classroom, learning stops — traditional learning stops. It can be devastating for the wellbeing of those children.”