Pre-K - 12
***Starting March 2, New York State will no longer require mask wearing in schools. Please see new masking and testing guidance for schools.
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, 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.
Guidance for Schools
April 11, 2022 - Webinar: Updated COVID-19 Guidance: From Isolation to Masking by the Office of School COVID Support.
March 1, 2022 - This document removes the statewide requirement for universal masking in schools, and applies to P-12 elementary and secondary public, charter, private and state-operated schools, including residential schools and programs serving students with disabilities, as regulated by the New York State Education Department.
Updated March 1, 2022 - All schools are required to report COVID-19 testing results to the DOH effective immediately.
Updated February 22, 2022 - Read the emergency regulation concerning the wearing of face coverings/masks in schools.
Updated December 8, 2021 - Read the determination requiring COVID-19 reporting of all faculty and staff at all New York P-12 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.
Interim NYSDOH Guidance for Classroom Instruction In P-12 Schools During the 2021-2022 Academic Year
September 2, 2021 - The following guidance addresses the minimum expectations for classroom instruction in P-12 schools.
Testing Resources for Schools
There are many testing resources available to support testing for the school population. Please visit the CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools which provides a list of federal resources for screening testing programs in schools. The information below provides details about testing resources made available to schools in New York State.
1. Point of Care Rapid Antigen Tests (for counties outside of NYC)
NYSDOH continues to support COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits procured by the NYSDOH COVID-19 Rapid Test Team. Test kits provided by the NYSDOH COVID-19 Rapid Test Team are either ordered and distributed by the applicable local health department in a county or ordered and distributed directly by school districts/schools in a particular county. Test kits ordered and received through the COVID-19 Rapid Test Team must be used for school-based testing. Questions about this test distribution should be directed to [email protected].
2. ELC School Reopening (for counties outside of NYC)
NYSDOH allocated ELC School Reopening funds to local health departments operating outside of New York City (NYC received separate ELC School Reopening funds). ELC School Reopening programs are aimed at implementing school screening testing programs and may support other COVID mitigation strategies. Schools interested in receiving support through this resource should contact their local health department or applicable BOCES (see below) for additional information. This resource is available to public, charter, BOCES, and non-public schools operating outside of NYC. Questions about this program may be directed to [email protected].
Schools operating in the following counties should contact their respective BOCES:
- Montgomery and Fulton Counties: Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES
- Herkimer County: Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES
- Madison County: Madison-Oneida BOCES
- Oneida County: Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES
3. New York City Testing Resources
- NYC Public schools with questions about school testing resources - contact NYCDOE
- NYC private schools with questions about school testing resources - contact [email protected]
- NYC charter schools with questions about school testing resources - submit a ticket through the NYC DOE Charter Office Help Desk
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.
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.