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Gov. Hochul announces updated COVID guidelines for schools

  • / Updated:
  • Hayley Jones 

New York has updated its COVID-19 policy for schools to align with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Monday, August 22.

The state will cease the random testing of students, which was commonplace last school year.

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New York is updating its COVID guidelines for schools to align with CDC

Only students with symptoms or those who came in close contact with an infected individual will need to be tested.

Some schools may decide to keep testing students involved in close contact activities, like sports and other extracurriculars.

Additionally, quarantine is no longer required after being in close contact with someone positive for COVID-19.

Students who test positive must isolate for five days and can return to school if they are no longer showing symptoms.

“We’ve been through that experiment, no longer are we going to be sending kids home, keeping them away from that essential experience of being together in a classroom because we are now still dealing with the fallout of those decisions made when we had less information,” said Hochul during the press conference.

Related: State re-launches #VaxToSchool program to boost COVID-19 vaccine rates among kids

Hochul: “When traditional learning stops it can be devastating for the well-being of those children”

The CDC recently released updated guidance for K-12 schools and early childhood education programs.

“Here in New York, we want to be fully aligned with the CDC, but we wanted to take a little bit of time to process what that actually meant before we release data,” offered Hochul at the August 22 public health briefing in New York City.

The state Department of Health and state Education Department will release information to schools later on Monday, August 22 reinforcing the state’s support for CDC guidance and providing answers to frequently asked questions, added the governor.

“When traditional learning stops it can be devastating for the well-being of those children,” said Hochul. “We’re seeing it with the mental health challenges we’re facing now.”

Watch Gov. Hochul’s full public health briefing below

Related: Sen. Helming urges legislators to support back-to-school sales tax relief