New COVID testing policy for NYC public school students

Unvaccinated students in the New York City public school system will face new rules when it comes to COVID testing and quarantining, announced Mayor Bill de Blasio Monday.

Beginning Sept. 27, unvaccinated students will not be required to quarantine when there is a positive case of COVID in their classroom if they were masked and were at least three feet apart from other students.

Also, sample COVID tests of unvaccinated students will occur weekly instead of biweekly. The changes impact elementary, middle, and high school students.

The move is an effort to keep as many students in the classroom as possible, added de Blasio. There are 77 public school classrooms closed as of Monday due to positive COVID cases.

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The changes coincide with the city mandate requiring all Department of Education employees to have at least one COVID shot or face termination however, a  judge has temporarily blocked that mandate.

"We've been looking at these two issues over the last two weeks," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. 'We looked at it in light of the data from the first week of school. We decided to make these decisions simultaneously."

For the first week of September, the number of new COVID cases among children across the United States was 243,000, the second-highest number it has been since the pandemic began.

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