Updated COVID-19 Guidance for the 22-23 School Year

The CDC, The NYSDOH and NYSED have put out new modified guidance for schools to start the 2022-2023 school year. This guidance reflects several key changes from the procedures utilized in the past to deal with the COVID virus. While recommended mitigation strategies remain in place such as advocating regular hand washing, keeping up to date on vaccinations, increased ventilation when possible/practical including enhanced system ventilation and the daily cleaning of all touch surfaces the most significant changes appear in the areas of isolation, testing and masking.

Here are the CDC’s latest changes to previous recommendations:

- Elimination of the test to stay recommendation
- Elimination of screening testing
- Elimination of social distancing
- Elimination of recommendation to pod/cohort
- Elimination of the recommendation to quarantine unless in high risk congregate settings
- Updated masking recommendations, management of cases of exposure

The good news for us is that New York State has adopted these recommendations and modified its directive for school districts accordingly. They have specifically made changes to the testing and reporting requirements of the past.

- NYSED will no longer require daily reporting of positive COVID 19 testing data.
- NYSED will no longer require routine COVID screening testing in school settings. This includes weekly screening of unvaccinated staff.
- NYSED has eliminated the Test to Stay recommendations.
- NYSED has eliminated social distancing requirements

They have also slightly adjusted the recommendations for COVID positive individuals and those that are symptomatic. >>This guide from the CDC outlines Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19 | CDC

Following the information contained in that document will provide the clearest and most concise situational responses to the various COVID experiences. I would encourage all of you to take a look at the specific document but in summary the requirements/recommendations are as follows:

All Recommendations are Regardless of Vaccination Status:

There is no recommendation present to keep “social distancing” in place in school cafeterias, classrooms, on busses or in library facilities.
They do recommend masking in school nurses’ office.

This is an excellent resource for you to consult if you have questions:

This guidance will be modified as needed in response to COVID 19 community infection rates as well as direction from the CDC, NYSED, NYSDOH and The County Executive.