State guidelines eliminate student quarantine after COVID exposure

State guidelines eliminate student quarantine after COVID exposure
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced new COVID-19 guidelines for schools, which include eliminating a quarantine mandate following an exposure to the virus. (Photo courtesy of

Students who are exposed to COVID-19 this school year will no longer be required to quarantine, according to new state guidelines released by Gov. Kathy Hochul Monday.

In another development, the state’s Department of Health released statistics showing a large percentage of the Nassau County population has completed the vaccination series to protect against the virus.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends individuals wear a mask when they have been exposed to the virus and stay home from school if they feel sick, the 10-day quarantine period that was previously required will not be enforced throughout New York’s public schools.

“We’re getting this information out to parents, into schools, and making sure that our children are where they need to be this fall,” Hochul said Monday. “We know there’s no replacement for in-classroom learning, and we’re going to make sure that this year is a very different year.”

“Thanks to the heroic work of our educators, children across New York have been able to make a safe return to the classroom,” state Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett said. “This new guidance will give schools and districts more flexibility to continue providing in-person instruction as we head into the new school year.”

Students or staff who do test positive for the coronavirus will be required to stay home for five days and can return when their symptoms resolve. They will be required to wear face protection until 10 days after testing positive, according to the guidelines. Hochul, in March, lifted the state’s mask mandates for schools throughout the state.

Schools are permitted to choose whether or not to test for “close contact” activities, including sports, but are not required to.  There remains no requirement for students to be vaccinated against the virus, though state and federal health officials continue to encourage everyone to become fully inoculated against COVID-19.

Statistics from the state Department of Health show that Great Neck’s 11020 ZIP code led the way on the North Shore with 100% of its population receiving a completed vaccination series as of Tuesday, the most up-to-date figures.

The 11042 ZIP code of New Hyde Park continues to have the lowest rate at 22.1% of people with a completed series, according to statistics. That area, however, consists primarily of businesses south of Northern State Parkway and along Marcus Avenue.

The next lowest rate on the North Shore is the 76.2% in the 11024 ZIP code of the Great Neck peninsula, which includes the Village of Kings Point. The next lowest one is also in Great Neck, with the 11023 ZIP code at an 80.2% rate, according to the figures. This area incorporates parts of the villages of Great Neck and Saddle Rock, along with Great Neck Gardens and Harbor Hills.

The statistics also show rates of 94.4% in Roslyn, 92.4% in Albertson, 92.6% in New Hyde Park’s 11040 ZIP code, 91.9% in Williston Park, 91.6% in Mineola, 89.8% in Port Washington, 88.1% in Roslyn Heights, 86.8% in Great Neck’s 11021 ZIP code, 84.5% in Manhasset and 83.4% percent in Floral Park.

In total, the 14 North Shore ZIP codes average a 83.9% rate of people who had a completed vaccination series as of Tuesday. Without the 22.1 percent figure in the 11042 ZIP code, the average for the remaining 13 ZIP codes increases to 88.6 percent.

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