The mask mandate in New York schools was lifted as of March 2, 2022. In accordance with that, NYSDOH released updated masking guidance and an FAQ document:
It is important to note that those making the personal choice to wear or not wear masks will be supported. In addition, we will continue providing masks and home test kits for those who request them. Significant highlights from the new guidance include:
• Masking for staff/students is optional, including on school buses and vans.
• Masking is required when staff/students return from isolation during days six through 10 after a COVID-19 infection. Staff/students who refuse to mask after a COVID infection must remain home for the duration of the 10 days.
Exposure to COVID
• The definition of “exposure” for close contact purposes means, in a setting where masks are not worn, anyone within a six-foot radius of an infected person is considered exposed.
• Regardless of vaccination status, staff/students are recommended, but not required, to be tested if exposed to an infected person. The DOH recommends testing immediately upon exposure and again at least five days after the last date of exposure. Staff/students may still come to work/school even if exposed. Staff/students who test positive, or develop symptoms after exposure, must stay home.
• Masking is recommended for staff/students for 10 days after exposure.
• Staff/students experiencing COVID symptoms must go/remain home and cannot return to work/school unless they can produce a negative test and have an improvement of symptoms. Negative home tests are acceptable for return to work/school purposes.
• If staff/students with symptoms choose not to test, they must remain home for at least five days. In this scenario, the staff/students are required to wear a mask for days six through 10 after returning to work/school.
• Staff/students will be notified by BOCES when possible exposure has occurred in the workplace/classroom. Again, in cases of exposure, testing is recommended but not required, as long as staff/students are asymptomatic.
We appreciate everyone’s cooperation as we continue to abide by the guidance and thank you for your support throughout this pandemic.