ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN)- 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,DOH school guidance on COVID-19 Reporting and Testing
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.
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. It is unclear if this website will continue to be updated throughout the 2021-2022 school year also.
On Friday, September 10, NEWS10 checked the tracker to see if a case reported in the Albany City School District on September 8 was there and it was not. The last reported date for the Albany City School District was August 10.
NEWS10 is waiting to hear back from a DOH spokesperson as to whether or not the website will be updated throughout this school year.