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COVID protocols for this school year

New York Teacher

The Department of Education’s COVID-19 protocols for the 2023–24 school year align with current CDC guidelines. They are similar to the policies that were in place for the 2022–23 school year.

Check our COVID guidance page for our FAQ and relevant DOE documents regarding COVID-related health guidance and absence policies.

Health & safety protocols:

Wearing a mask indoors in public is strongly encouraged for anyone with symptoms or anyone recently exposed to someone who tested positive. Masks are required for those returning to school during days 6-10 after testing positive. School nurses will have masks for those who need them.

Staff or students who have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 do not have to quarantine if they are not showing symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone exhibiting signs of a COVID-19 infection should test as soon as possible.

If a staff member tests positive, they should immediately report it to their administrator and begin isolating for five days.

COVID-related absences:

Staff members who test positive for COVID-19 will receive five days’ pay without having to use their CAR days while they isolate. If they are still sick after five days, they may continue to be paid for up to two weeks, but they may be asked for medical documentation of any ongoing symptoms that prevent them from working.

COVID-19 excused leave at full pay is cumulative and may not exceed a total of two calendar weeks over the school year.


DOE employees will receive up to four hours of paid release time to receive a vaccine or booster dose. You must provide at least three days’ advance notice to your administrator, documentation of the appointment and your receipt of vaccination. If you have side effects from a vaccine or booster, you may be absent without using CAR days if the symptoms develop within three days.

Members can use CAR days over the existing limit of three such days per year if they must care for a family member who is home because of a documented COVID-19 illness.

Related Topics: Coronavirus