ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Governor Hochul said this school year the goal is to keep students in school so COVID-19 protocols will be different than in previous years.

“When they are not in the classroom and the learning stops, traditional learning stops,” Hochul said. “It can be devastating for the well-being of those children.”

The Governor said New York State is aligning with the CDC’s latest guidance.

“The big news is no more quarantining, no more test to stay and the days of sending an entire classroom home because one person was symptomatic or test positive those days are over.”

Governor Kathy Hochul

New guidelines:

  • Wear a mask if you’re exposed to COVID-19
  • If you feel sick, take a COVID-19 test
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 stay home for 5 days, you can return with a mask when symptoms resolve
  • Schools can choose to test for close contact

Dr. Donna DeSiato, Superintendent for the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District, welcomes these changes. Her district will also provide pool testing.

“It is a more accurate form of testing,” DeSiato explained. “Our school nurses actually do perform that on a weekly basis for those who sign up for it.”

Dr. Desiato said they will also distribute test kits to families.

“We really want to encourage people that before you ever come to school that if you have any type of symptom or anything that would suggest that you may need to take the test that you have available and you take it right at home,” DeSiato said.

DeSiato said for students who medically can’t be in school, there is a virtual option for them. That student would have to have a note from their pediatrician which will be reviewed by the district’s medical director.