April 15, 2021
As of April 9, the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) updated its interim guidance for in-person instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 schools during the COVID-19 public health emergency to correspond with earlier Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance.
Due to evidence that transmission risk ranges by student age, the CDC recommends that physical distancing requirements differ by grade level and community transmission risk. CDC has developed four levels of indicators and thresholds for community transmission of COVID-19.
Summary of updates:
» All schools must have a mandatory facemask policy.
» School districts may choose to reduce physical distancing to no less than three feet between students during academic instruction, however:
- School districts must follow CDC recommendations for physical distancing depending upon community transmission rates and grade levels.
- Schools must adhere to the exceptions where a minimum of six feet of distance must be maintained.
» Six feet of distance is required when eating meals/snacks, drinking, or other times masks must be removed.
» Individuals participating in activities that require projecting the voice (e.g., singing) or playing a wind instrument must be six feet apart.
» Six feet of physical distance must be maintained in common areas and outside the classrooms (e.g., lobbies, auditoriums, gymnasiums, cafeterias, and hallways).
» Six feet of physical distance is required between adults and between students and adults.
» Physical barriers are no longer recommended by CDC.
» Guidance provided on ventilation and filtration in guidelines.