Govt provides Covid-19 tests, face masks in schools

As students return to school this week, New York State is making Covid-19 rapid test kits and masks available to school districts and Boards of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) upon request. The announcement comes after reports of a new BA.2.86 variant in New York and an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations this summer. This week, the state will review requirements for testing kits and masks. After requests are submitted, New York State will provide the requested tests and N-95 and KN-95 masks to each BOCES for distribution to school districts. In addition, Governor Hochul and the New York State Department of Health recommend that schools review the current CDC school guidance for Covid-19 prevention and work with local health departments to implement effective and feasible public health measures. To prevent the spread of Covid-19, the CDC recommends schools: encourage vaccination and testing; Encourage students, faculty and staff to stay home if they are sick and exhibiting symptoms; improving ventilation and improving indoor air quality to reduce the risk of airborne germs and contaminants; and teaching and reinforcing proper hand washing and hygiene practices. Schools experiencing outbreaks should work with their local health department to obtain timely outbreak response support. With the new BA.2.86 variant just detected in New York, DOH and the Wadsworth Center will continue to monitor the situation and look for new variants to help keep New Yorkers safe. .

As students return to school this week, New York State is making Covid-19 rapid test kits and masks available to school districts and Boards of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) upon request.

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The announcement comes after reports of a new BA.2.86 variant in New York and an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations this summer.

This week, the state will review requirements for testing kits and masks. After requests are submitted, New York State will provide the requested tests and N-95 and KN-95 masks to each BOCES for distribution to school districts.

In addition, Governor Hochul and the New York State Department of Health recommend that schools review the current CDC school guidance for Covid-19 prevention and work with local health departments to implement effective and feasible public health measures.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends schools:

  • promoting vaccination and screening;
  • Encourage students, faculty and staff to stay home if they are sick and exhibiting symptoms;
  • improving ventilation and improving indoor air quality to reduce the risk of airborne germs and contaminants; And
  • Teach and reinforce proper hand washing and hygiene practices.

Schools experiencing outbreaks should work with their local health department for timely outbreak response support.

Now that the new BA.2.86 variant has been detected in New York, DOH and the Wadsworth Center will continue to monitor the situation and monitor new variants to help keep New Yorkers safe.

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