ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Last school year New York schools had to report cases of COVID-19 for students and staff, no matter if they were remote or not. Schools will be required to continue reporting cases to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) for the 2021-2022 school year, the DOH said.

The requirement for schools to report COVID cases was made when the state released school guidance on September 2. The guidance also requires the use of facemasks, social distancing both in the classroom and on buses. It also requires unvaccinated faculty or staff to get weekly COVID testing.

“On day one of my administration, I announced a series of bold back-to-school initiatives, including a universal mask requirement for anyone entering our schools. We are now issuing guidance to make sure our school staff are vaccinated or tested regularly for themselves and their families, our students, and our communities. Our children deserve to be safe and protected in schools, and I am doing everything in my power to guarantee that,” Governor Kathy Hochul said when the guidance was announced.

COVID-19 Reporting in Schools. In addition to all other reporting requirements in this Part,
every kindergarten, elementary, intermediate, or secondary school as well as any prekindergarten programs and school districts, as identified by the Department, shall report to the
Department of Health, on a daily basis, in a form and manner to be determined by the
Commissioner, all COVID-19 testing, positive test results reported in any manner to the school,
and related information among students, teaching staff, and any other employees or volunteers.
Such daily report shall include any other data elements as the Commissioner determines to be
appropriate to track outbreaks of COVID-19 within such schools and school districts.

DOH school guidance on COVID-19 Reporting and Testing

The DOH created a school COVID-19 tracker on its website accessible to anyone so they could stay up to date on the number of cases in every school during the 2020-2021 school year.

DOH spokesperson, Abigail Barker said beginning Monday, September 13, schools will have to submit a report on COVID cases every day between 7 a.m.- 4 p.m. The website is currently being updated and data will be temporarily unavailable to the public, she said.

Schools will also be responsible for updating their COVID dashboards, similar to last school year.