Important School COVID-19 Policy Updates Effective March 7th
Dear Wings families,
I am pleased to confirm that we continue to see low COVID-19 rates, and therefore can ease some COVID-19 protocols in our NYC public schools. This is a huge achievement and a milestone in the battle against COVID-19. In order to maintain the safety of all staff and students, we will continue to maintain increased ventilation, the daily health screening form, and COVID-19 home test kit distribution. Here is what’s changing effective March 7 and what will remain the same:
NEW: Effective March 7, face coverings will become optional, indoors and outdoors, on NYC public school grounds and on school buses, for all K-12 students and staff with a few exceptions. Please note that while wearing a face covering will no longer be required, anyone who chooses to wear a mask may continue to do so; face coverings will continue to be available through the school’s custodian engineer. Face coverings are still required or recommended in the following scenarios:
Face coverings are required:
Face coverings after return from 5-day isolation: Anyone returning on Day 6 after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or after having COVID-19 symptoms without testing is still required to wear a well-fitting mask at all times on school property through Day 10.
Face coverings for Early Childhood programs: The indoor mask mandate is still active for LYFE, EarlyLearn (Infants & Toddlers), 3-K, Pre-K, and 4410 classrooms. Children two years old and older, and all staff in these classrooms, must continue to follow the same face covering requirements whether they are in a district school, CBO, or home-based program. Since children under the age of five are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine, face coverings remain our strongest defense against COVID-19 for early childhood populations.
Face coverings in medical rooms/nurses’ offices: Wearing a face covering is still required in medical rooms/nurses’ offices, as well as in School Based Health Centers. Nurses will have masks on hand for anyone entering who needs one.
Face coverings are strongly recommended:
Face coverings following exposure: It is strongly recommended that face coverings be worn when an individual has been exposed or potentially exposed to COVID-19 (in the same room for 15 minutes or longer with a person who tested positive for COVID-19). This face covering should be well-fitting and should be worn for 10 days after the known exposure.
NEW: There are no requirements for social distancing in public spaces, including classrooms, cafeterias and auditoriums, unless the person is returning from isolation. As per NYS guidance, those that are required to still wear face coverings due to returning from isolation should distance when they have to remove their mask for eating.
NEW: A face covering is now optional for visitors.
All visitors wishing to enter DOE school buildings must continue to show proof of having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, show identification, and complete the daily health screening form.
Reporting Cases to the Situation Room
Should a student or staff member feel ill during the day or test positive for COVID-19, the protocols and procedures remain the same. Schools will continue to report positive cases to the Situation Room.
Student Vaccine Requirements
High-risk extracurricular activities will still require participants to be fully vaccinated. High-risk sports include football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, lacrosse (boys), stunt, and rugby. High-risk extra-curricular activities include chorus, musical theater, dance/dance team, band/orchestra, marching band, and cheerleading/step teams/flag team.
Any student attending a dance or prom must be fully vaccinated.
For additional information and translations, please go to the Messages for Families page.
For questions, email COVID19virus@schools.nyc.gov.