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  7. COVID-19 Quarantine, Testing Change

Dear Families:

The New York State Department of Health (NYDOH) recently amended its school guidance related to COVID-19 testing and quarantine. Per its memo, the NYSDOH is now allowing individuals who develop COVID-19 symptoms and have no known exposure to someone with COVID-19 to participate in school activities following a negative nuclear acid amplification test (NAAT) such as a rapid molecular or PCR test, or a rapid antigen test, regardless of vaccination status. This means that either a lab-certified negative rapid antigen test or a rapid molecular or PCR test will be accepted for an individual to remain in school or return to school if there is no known exposure to a positive case.

In addition to a negative NAAT or antigen test, symptomatic individuals must:

  • be well enough to participate in school
  • not have rhinorrhea (runny nose) or cough severe enough to make mask wearing difficult or unhygienic
  • be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication and
  • comply with the district school illness policy to return to school after a non-COVID illness.

Please be reminded that our local health departments are not accepting home tests as proof of a negative test. These tests are viewed as a screening mechanism only. The local health departments require a lab certified test as mentioned above to return to school or work.

Testing is available throughout the region and state, including at pharmacies and health care facilities. Please visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you to find a rapid test site near you. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please call the testing site before you go to get tested.