2022-23 COVID-19 Guidance
On August 22, 2022, the New York State Department of Health and New York State Education Department released updated COVID-19 guidance for public schools. This updated guidance is aligned to guidance released on August 11, 2022, by the Centers for Disease Control. The District will follow the NYSDOH prescribed guidelines which are largely unchanged since the close of school last year, with the exception of greater flexibility to those who test positive for COVID 19.
Isolation & Quarantine
When should a symptomatic student or staff member be sent home or stay home?
Students, faculty and staff who have COVID-19 symptoms are required to stay home until they are well enough to return to school. Individuals who have a fever over 100° Fahrenheit are required to stay home until fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever suppressing medication. Individuals who have other COVID-19 symptoms (e.g., shaking or chills, cough, congestion or runny nose, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, unusual or significant fatigue, persistent muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or new loss of taste or smell) must stay home until their symptoms are improving and they feel well enough to return to school. NYSDOH now recommends, but does not require, that symptomatic individuals are tested for COVID-19.
What are the current isolation requirements for students and staff who test positive for COVID-19?
Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 5 days at home. For those with symptoms Day 1 is the first full day after symptom onset (Day 0 is the day of symptom onset). For those that had no symptoms Day 0 is the day they were tested (not the day they received the positive test result) and Day 1 is the first full day following the day they were tested. If a person was asymptomatic when they tested and then develops symptoms within 10 days of testing, the clock restarts at day 0 on the day of symptom onset.
Individuals who test positive may resume attending school after the 5 days of isolation if they are fever free without fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours and their symptoms are improving. They will be required to wear a mask on days 6-10 while at school and in public. Individuals may shorten the requirement to wear a mask for days 6-10 by obtaining 2 negative test results at least 48 hours apart (e.g., on days 6 and 8), which affords more flexibility to those testing positive.
A negative test result is not required to return to school following the 5 days of isolation.
Do students and staff have to quarantine following exposure to someone with COVID-19?
No, quarantine is no longer recommended for people who are exposed to COVID-19. NYSDOH recommends that people who are exposed to COVID-19 follow recommendations to wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days in public indoor settings (including school settings) and get tested for COVID-19 on or after day 5 or sooner if symptoms develop, regardless of vaccination status.
Masking & Social Distancing
Are masks required to be worn outdoors or indoors at school?
No, mask wearing is optional in all outdoor and indoor settings at school, including classrooms, cafeterias, school buses, and during extracurricular activities, and sports. The District expects students, faculty, staff, and members of the public will respect these guidelines and the decisions of others regarding mask-wearing.
May individuals continue to wear a mask at school if they choose to?
Yes, individuals may choose to wear a mask for any reason (e.g., because they want increased protection, in order to protect family and friends, or for any other reason).
If a person tests positive for COVID-19, do they have to wear a mask when they return to school?
Individuals who test positive may resume attending school after the 5 days of isolation if they are fever free without fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours and their symptoms are improving. They are required to wear a mask on days 6-10 while at school and in public. Individuals may shorten the requirement to wear a mask for days 6-10 by obtaining 2 negative test results at least 48 hours apart, which affords more flexibility to those testing positive.
If a person has a known exposure to COVID-19, should they wear a mask?
NYSDOH recommends that people who are exposed to COVID-19 follow recommendations to wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days in public indoor settings (including school settings) and get tested for COVID-19 on or after day 5 or sooner if symptoms develop, regardless of vaccination status.
Will students still be required to maintain social distancing in school?
No, students are not required to maintain social distancing in classrooms, in cafeterias, on school buses, or during extracurricular activities, including sports.
Will the school district continue to provide voluntary PCR testing to faculty, staff, and students whose parents have provided consent?
No, weekly COVID-19 screening testing is no longer required by NYSDOH.
Will the school district continue to provide rapid antigen test kits for use at home? Can the results from rapid antigen at-home tests be used to clear a symptomatic student's return to school?
Yes, the District will make free rapid antigen test kits available to students and staff, subject to availability from NYSDOH. Test kits may be picked in the main office of each school. Negative test results from a rapid antigen home test can now be accepted by the District provided that two rapid antigen tests are given at least 24 or 36 hours apart, consistent with the instructions that accompany the test kit. Photographs of the two test results labeled with the date and time each test was administered must be submitted as proof of a negative test result. Parents should consult with their pediatrician if a child becomes symptomatic or has a positive test result at home.
Will schools conduct contact tracing of positive cases?
No, routine contact tracing is no longer recommended by NYSDOH. The school may notify students and staff if a known close contact has occurred, or may send more generalized notifications if a school has an increased number of positive cases.
Will students, faculty or staff who have had exposure to COVID-19 be required to quarantine and be excluded from school?
No, individuals who have had exposure to COVID-19 are not required to quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status. If they become symptomatic, then they need to stay home, get tested for COVID-19, and follow isolation protocols if they test positive.