The NYDOH just released updated guidance related to emergency regulations 10 NYCRR 2.60 and 10 NYCRR 2.62, and commissioner’s determination pursuant to those emergency regulations. You can learn more about the details of this guidance at: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/schools-youth
Key changes related to schools include:
Commissioner’s determination pursuant to 10 NYCRR 2.60
- The state’s masking requirement is extended to any gathering on school grounds which addresses or implements educational matters where students are or may reasonably be expected to be present. In the event that officials presiding over public meetings implicated by this directive are unable to guarantee compliance with such masking requirements, they are advised to implement full virtual access to public meetings in accord with the September 2021 amendment to the New York State Open Meetings Law.
- Clarifies that NYSDOH does not provide for the implementation of “mask breaks” during the school day, nor does it provide for an exception to the masking requirement on the basis of minimal social distancing in classrooms. This is in accordance with CDC guidance recommending universal masking in schools to keep children in school without risking close contact exposure and subsequent quarantines.
- Please note that new Section #7 does not apply to schools; schools are addressed in Section #3.
Commissioner’s determination pursuant to 10 NYCRR 2.62
- Clarifies that schools may accept antigen (Rapid, shallow nasal swab) OR NAAT (PCR) testing to allow people to participate in school following COVID-19 symptoms.
- Clarifies that asymptomatic individuals exposed to COVID-19 who have been previously diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and have since recovered, are not required to retest and quarantine within three (3) months from the recorded date of initial COVID19 infection, or date of first positive diagnostic test if asymptomatic during illness. Schools will have to keep track of when the three months is over, at which time the staff person should resume testing.
Thanks to all of you for being vigilant in helping to reduce the spread of COVID 19 in our schools. Based on contact tracing, we continue to have minimal spread in our schools.