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Safety & health

Information on COVID-19 related safety issues for the 2022-23 school year, with details on rapid tests, building safety, positive cases of COVID-19, masking and more.

See the DOE's School Health Policy for the 2022-23 school year.

Will there still be random PCR testing at schools this year?

Random PCR testing will not take place on site at schools this year, which is in accordance with recent CDC guidance. Four rapid tests will be provided monthly for staff and students, and additional kits will be provided if someone is exposed to COVID-19.

If I have been exposed to COVID-19, how many additional rapid tests will I receive?

If you are exposed to COVID-19,  two additional tests will be provided so staff and students can test on the fourth day after exposure and again on the fifth day.

How should I report a positive result on a rapid test taken at home?

If you test positive from an at-home rapid test, you should immediately report it to your school and begin isolating. Principals will report positive results to the Situation Room.

Will daily screenings be used again this year?

No, daily screenings for students, staff and visitors are no longer be required. However, all visitors to school buildings must show proof of having received a COVID-19 vaccine before entering.

Will masks continue to be optional for all students and staff?

Masking will be optional for students and staff at all grade levels. Masks will still be required for those returning to school after testing positive during days 6-10 or if exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 at school. Masks will also be required when entering the school medical room, the school nurse’s office or a school-based health center. Masking is strongly encouraged for anyone recently exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 for a period of 10 days from the date of exposure. 

Will masks be distributed at schools for staff who want to continue wearing them?

Schools will continue to provide masks by request. Schools will maintain a 30-day supply at all times.

What types of COVID-19 tests are accepted by the DOE?

Acceptable forms of COVID-19 tests include: a NAAT or molecular test, such as PCR; or a lab-based antigen test; or an in-home FDA-authorized antigen diagnostic "rapid" test including tests distributed by the DOE.

Will DOE employees have to provide proof they have received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine?

At this point, booster shots are not mandated and we are unaware of any current intent to do so. We cannot, however, predict what may happen.

Will air purifiers be used in classrooms and other indoor spaces this year?

Yes. Two air purifiers will be provided for each classroom. New purifier replacements and filters will be in place for the start of school.

Will there be deep cleanings of schools this year?

This is up to the discretion of individual principals and custodians rather than a system-wide mandate. Sprayers will remain in school buildings and custodians are expected to still keep a 30-day supply of disinfectant on hand.