New Quarantine Guidelines starting January 31

Dear PS 101 Families,

Please read carefully from the DOE:

Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NYS DOH guidance, the Department of Education has updated its COVID-19 health policies. These changes continue to help us uphold our Stay Safe, Stay Open policy, which have been in place since the holiday break while also incorporating more recent policy changes from the CDC and New York State Department of Health. Below are the changes and these changes will go into effect on Monday, January 31.  

Shortened Isolation Period for Positive Cases 

The isolation period for all staff and students in grades kindergarten and higher who test positive for COVID-19 has been shortened to five days. Anyone returning from a five-day isolation period should be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their overall symptoms should be improving; they must be able to wear a well-fitting mask while at school from Day 6 through Day 10. DOHMH recommends a high-grade well-fitting mask such as a KN95 or KF94, or a surgical mask worn under a cloth mask.

For students in Pre-K, the isolation period will remain at ten days. These students should be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their overall symptoms should be improving before they return on Day 11.  

When staff and students (in any grade) have completed their isolation period, they are not required to produce a negative test result before being allowed to return to school or work. An individual may continue to receive a positive COVID-19 test result for up to 90 days even though they are no longer infectious.

New Quarantine Guidelines 

Students in K-12: If a student is not fully vaccinated and exposed to COVID-19 outside of a school setting, the individual must now quarantine for at least five days; this has been shortened from 10 days. Anyone returning from a five-day quarantine period must wear a well-fitting mask, as mentioned above, while at school from Days 6 through 10. 

For an unvaccinated student who is exposed in the home, the student must continue to quarantine for an additional five days after a household member’s isolation period has ended (which should equate to 10 days).

As a reminder, staff and students in grades kindergarten and higher, when exposed to COVID-19 at school, do not need to quarantine and should continue to use the home test kits provided by their school. These students and staff should only receive one home test kit per week, regardless of the number of exposures during that week. 


Children in Pre-K who have been exposed to COVID-19 may now test back into school on Day 6, after completing a five-day quarantine (previously, these students were able to test back in on Day 8). In order to return to school on Day 6, these students must be symptom-free, and test negative on a lab-based test performed by a healthcare provider on Day 5 or test negative using two at home rapid tests taken on Day 4 and Day 5.

Face Covering Reminders 

As a reminder, the DOE’s face covering policy continues to be in effect. Face coverings must be worn both indoors and outdoors when on DOE school grounds, regardless of COVID-19 vaccine status.