New CDC COVID guidelines under review by NYC Department of Education, teachers union

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Friday, August 12, 2022
How new COVID guidelines may impact NYC classrooms
After the CDC announced new COVID protocol guidelines many are wondering if students will return to a more normal classroom setting this school year

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The CDC has issued new guidance on COVID protocols, easing restrictions when it comes to social distancing, contact tracing, and quarantining.

And with the school year just around the corner, many are wondering if students will return to a more normal classroom setting.

"I think everyone will probably act the way that they feel most comfortable," parent Valerie Baker said. "We're more on the cautious side."

The United Federation of Teachers will review the new guidance, as their discussions continue with the New York City Department of Education ahead of the school year.

Parents and teachers expressed mixed feelings about the new guidelines will affect the classroom.

"It will be as if COVID doesn't exist in the school building, except when kids get sick," one parent said. "And kids will get sick."

The 6-foot standard for social distancing is gone, along with the so-called test-to-stay recommendation, which had schools testing students who'd been exposed to COVID.

"I think the main thing is personal responsibility," another parent said. "You keep yourself and keep others safe."

Unvaccinated students are no longer recommended to isolate at home when exposed, though the CDC recommends wearing a mask for a few days.

"We will follow the CDC guidelines," Mayor Eric Adams said. "In some cases, because we have the transportation system, we're going to continue to do the things we believe is going to keep New Yorkers safe."

Governor Kathy Hochul said the state education department policy will remain the same as last year, and that her goal is to have every student physically back in school this year.

Still, she stressed that she reserves the right to change the policy if COVID numbers spike.

"We are not making an alteration to the plan that was in place at the end of the school year," she said. "We don't see a need to reinstitute masks, for example. We are going to continue to get test kits out to students and make sure they have access to vaccines."

Current guidance for New York City schools can be found on the Department of Education website.

RELATED | COVID NY News: U.S. court sides with state in fight over school vaccine rules

A federal appeals court has ruled against a group of New York parents who sued after the state made it more difficult for children to get a medical exemption from school immunization requirements.


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