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Health and Safety

Q&A on the UFT Vaccine
Jonathan Fickies

Health and safety policies at schools

The DOE has released guidance on health and safety policies at NYC public schools to prevent the spread at COVID-9. Here are some key takeaways:

  • School staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Students aged 12 and older are encouraged to get vaccinated, but only certain student athletes are required.
  • Ten percent of unvaccinated students in each school who have submitted consent to testing will be tested for COVID-19 every two weeks. If there is a positive case, the school will take immediate action to prevent it from spreading. Quarantine rules will vary depending on the vaccination status of the student.
  • Students and staff will be required to wear masks on school buses and during the school day when they are not eating, drinking or taking designated "mask breaks." When students aren't wearing masks, they should maintain three feet of physical distance from each other and staff wherever possible. Schools will provide masks to students who don't have their own.

For more details, including procedures schools will follow if they find a positive case and medical exemptions for home instruction, read the DOE's full health and safety guide online »

You can find statewide policies in the New York State Education Department's health and safety guide.


The best way to protect your family from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated, and anyone 12 years of age or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine!

Find a location and make an appointment using Vaccine Finder »

Or, make an appointment by phone at 877-VAX4NYC.

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone regardless of immigration status. Read answers to frequently asked questions about the vaccine and immigration status »

Read and share a flier about what New Yorkers need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine in English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese (or simplified Chinese), Haitian Creole, Korean, Bengali, Italian, Polish, Arabic, French, Urdu and Yiddish.