This letter to families provides guidance about COVID-19 home test kits for use before returning to school after the Midwinter Recess.
Our “Stay Safe, Stay Open” plan has succeeded in allowing us to keep our schools open and remain among the safest places for young people to be during the COVID-19 pandemic, including during the Omicron surge. To keep our school communities safe after the midwinter recess, we strongly encourage all students to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to school on February 28, regardless of vaccination status. Your child can test through a PCR, lab-based rapid test, or a home test kit. Your child will come home with two COVID-19 home tests, which may be packaged in one box or two.
When should my child take the tests?
- First test on February 26: Please help your child take one of the COVID tests provided on the evening of Saturday, February 26.
- Second test on February 27: Please help your child take the second test 24 hours later, on the evening of February 27.
- If your child tests negative and feels well, they should come to school on Monday, February 28.
- Please note, if your child has recovered from a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they do not need to take a test and should attend school on Monday, February 28, if they are feeling well.
What should I do if my child tests positive on one of the tests?
- Kindergarten and older: Please inform your school and isolate your child for five days. Your child may return to school on the sixth day if they have no symptoms or their symptoms are improving (including being fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication) and your child can wear a well-fitting mask while at school through the tenth day after their positive test.
- Pre-K and younger: please inform your school/program school and isolate your child for ten days. Your child may return to school/program after the tenth day.
- For all ages:
- Please remember that if your child tests positive, your child is entitled to asynchronous learning and Office Hours for the duration of your child’s isolation period.
- Please refer to our COVID-19 Guidance Charts, available at: schools.nyc.gov/2022Health, for additional steps to take if your child tests positive.
Where can I find instructions about the test kit?
- The test kits come with printed instructions that you should follow when administering the test. You can also watch videos in multiple languages on how to use your test kit at schools.nyc.gov/HomeRapidTestKits.
Thank you for doing your part to keep COVID-19 out of our schools! When your child returns to school after the break, please make sure they complete the daily health screening form every day, available at healthscreening.schools.nyc.
As a reminder, vaccination is the best tool we have to fight COVID-19 and to keep our schools safe for all our students. Children ages 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If your child is eligible but not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, please take the opportunity during the Midwinter Recess to make an appointment for vaccination at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or call 311 to find a vaccine site near you. The vaccine is free to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration or insurance status.
Vaccine booster shots are also now available for all fully vaccinated people ages 12 and older. For more information about booster shots, see www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-vaccines.page#boost.