ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — With the school year just starting back up, COVID-19 is still on the mind of teachers, parents and students. Just recently, state officials released a report updating school guidelines in accordance with the coronavirus, this includes no longer requiring schools to publish what’s known as a COVID-19 Report Card which published the number of COVID positive cases by school district, a method used for the past two years.
A report released on August 22, 2022 from the Department of Health and State Education Department states that with increased access to COVID-19 information, vaccines, treatment and testing, schools can now have more relaxed guidelines.
“No more quarantining, no more tests to stay and the days of sending an entire classroom home because one person was symptomatic or test positive those days are over – keeping them away from that essential experience of being together in a classroom,” said Governor Hochul at a press event on August 22.
While it’s no longer required to publish COVID positive numbers, some schools, like Saratoga Springs, are still making that information public. That same report released in August states: “COVID-19 Symptoms and positive test results those who are or become symptomatic and/or test positive for COVID-19 are asked to follow the CDC‘s isolation guidance.” Which many schools are listed in agreement with.
Based on previous trends, the number of COVID cases tends to go up in the fall and winter months, “Will that happen again? We don’t know. But our policy has always been for the last year straight, has been to be prepared for the worst,” said Hochul.
In a statement the Department of Health said: “However, as the pandemic response continues to evolve with updated information, we will provide updated recommendations as available.” Additionally, the New York State United Teachers Union does not have a statement at this time.