Pre-K - 12
New York State recognizes that opening pre-kindergarten through grade 12 schools for in-person instruction is critical to student health, well-being, academic success, and social functioning. The State is committed to prioritizing in-person learning while adhering to layered mitigation strategies such as vaccination, the appropriate use of face masks for unvaccinated persons, and implementing screening testing to monitor transmission and inform local public health actions.
Thank you for all of your efforts and partnership as you work to reopen schools safely during this unprecedented time.
- When to Wash your Hands Poster
- Wash Away the Germs Poster
- Custodial Checklist for Schools Poster
- Stop the Spread of Germs Poster
All teachers, administrators, and other school employees must submit to weekly COVID-19 testing unless they show proof of vaccination.
As of November 3, 2021, children ages 5 – 11 are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. CDC and New York State Department of Health recommend children 5 – 11 receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for eligible children, and will protect them from the virus. New Yorkers 5 – 17 can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Visit the #VaxForKids webpage to find information including frequently asked questions and answers, resources, and scheduling information for ages 5 - 17.
On September 8, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of New York State’s #VaxtoSchool campaign to support increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates among school-aged New Yorkers. The new efforts include 120 #VaxtoSchool pop-up sites, which will be established in regions statewide, a dedicated microsite, and new social channels and educational assets to help reach school-aged New Yorkers, their families, and school communities.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)
MIS-C is a rare condition that sometimes occurs in children who had COVID-19. It can cause inflammation of different parts of the body, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal system. The cause is not known. MIS-C can be serious or deadly, but most children recover with medical care.
Though most children who get COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms, some children experience severe illness after an apparent recovery from COVID-19 infection. Symptoms of MIS-C may occur two or more weeks after acute COVID-19 illness.
Should your child develop any of the following symptoms following COVID-19 illness, you should seek immediate care for your child from your child’s healthcare provider:
- Prolonged fever (more than 24 hours)
- Bloodshot eyes
- Skin Rash
- Stomach Pain
- Difficulty feeding (infants) or is too sick to drink fluids
Should your child develop any of the following severe symptoms, you should seek emergency medical care when the child has:
- Change in skin color - becoming pale, patchy and/or blue
- Trouble breathing or is breathing very quickly
- Racing heart or chest pain
- Decreased amount or frequency of urine
- Confusion, not acting right, or won’t wake up or stay awake
Early recognition by pediatricians and referral to a specialist including to critical care are essential.
Please find additional information on MIS-C.
Guidance for Schools
Updated December 10, 2021 - Read the Commissioner's determination about requiring the wearing of face coverings/masks inside schools.
Updated December 8, 2021 - Read the determination requiring COVID-19 testing of all faculty and staff at all New York P-12 schools.
Updated December 1, 2021 - All schools are required to report COVID-19 testing results to the DOH effective immediately.
Updated November 24, 2021 - Read the emergency regulation concerning the wearing of face coverings/masks in schools.
Webinar: Overview of Interim Guidance for Classroom Instruction in P-12 Schools During the 2021-2022 Academic Year
September 2021 - Watch this video to learn more about interim guidance for classroom instruction during the 2021-22 academic year.