NYS provides schools with rapid test kits

Source: Governor.NY.Gov

New York State has announced that in light of the new BA.2.86 variant and the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the state will be providing school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services with COVID-19 rapid test kits and masks upon request. Governor Hochul emphasizes the importance of frequent testing and following CDC guidance to ensure the safety of students in the classroom.

To facilitate this initiative, the State will be reaching out to the State Education Department and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services to assess their needs for test kits and masks. Once the requests are received, New York State will deliver the necessary supplies to each BOCES for distribution to the school districts.

The New York State Department of Health recommends that schools review the current CDC school guidance for COVID-19 prevention and collaborate with local health departments to implement effective public health measures.

Dr. James McDonald, the New York State Health Commissioner, urges students, teachers, and parents to utilize COVID-19 tests, which are easy to use and highly accurate. He emphasizes the importance of getting tested if experiencing symptoms and staying home if testing positive. Dr. McDonald also encourages individuals to seek treatment and consult healthcare providers for improved chances of recovery. He commends Governor Hochul for providing critical resources to school districts for a successful and safe school year.

New York State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa expresses excitement and anticipation for the new school year, emphasizing the paramount importance of health and safety in school communities. The State Education Department and Board of Regents remind everyone to follow CDC guidance and ensure continuous monitoring of the situation to provide a safe learning environment for all students.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends schools promote vaccination and testing, encourage sick individuals to stay home, optimize ventilation and indoor air quality, and teach proper handwashing and hygiene practices. Schools experiencing outbreaks should collaborate with local health departments for timely support.

With the detection of the new BA.2.86 variant in New York, the Department of Health and the Wadsworth Center will continue monitoring and tracking new variants to ensure the safety of New Yorkers. An updated COVID-19 vaccine targeting specific variants is expected to be available in the Fall.

Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms should get tested immediately and consult healthcare providers for necessary treatment. It is crucial to begin treatment soon after symptom onset for maximum effectiveness. At-home tests are available at local pharmacies, and N-95 masks and test kits are accessible to state and county officials upon request.

New Yorkers are advised to contact their county health department or local emergency management office for more information.

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