Skip to main content

Due to recent increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New York City, the City’s COVID-19 alert level has just been raised to “Orange,” or high alert.

This means that there is significant community spread of COVID-19 across the five boroughs, and that as a result, the City’s health care system is receiving substantial pressure from incoming patients infected with COVID-19.

While we are not announcing any changes to how NYC public schools approach and prevent the spread of COVID-19, we urge all New Yorkers to take the following proven precautions to protect your family and our communities:

Wear a mask

We recommend that everyone age 2 and older wear a well-fitting mask in all public indoor settings, including at school and early childhood education (ECE) programs, even if not required. Encourage your child to wear a mask while at school or ECE program and when gathering with friends. Your child’s school has masks available.

Get vaccinated and boosted

Everyone age five and older should get vaccinated against COVID-19, including getting a booster shot when eligible. Vaccines have saved countless lives and are our best defense against the virus. Find a vaccination site at or by calling (877) VAX-4NYC. You can get vaccinated for free, regardless of immigration or insurance status.

Stay home when sick

Everyone should stay home if they are sick or test positive for COVID-19 and follow all guidance, including wearing a well-fitting face mask for 10 days.

Get tested

Everyone should get tested if they have COVID-19 symptoms, were recently with someone who has COVID-19, recently traveled, or were at a large event. Schools are giving each child four at-home tests per week, and testing is available throughout the City. To find a testing site, visit—testing is free at many sites.

Consider other precautions, such as avoiding crowds, limiting gatherings to a small number of people, increasing ventilation, and wearing high quality masks.

This is especially important for people are at an increased risk due to age, underlying medical condition(s), or because they are unvaccinated.

If you or your child tests positive for COVID-19, call your health care provider or 212-COVID-19 (212-268-4319) to ask about treatment options for people age 12 or older. To learn more, including eligibility for treatments, visit If your child tests positive, please inform their school or early childhood education program. Children who test positive or are home with symptoms can receive free online learning and office hours while out sick.

If we all do our part, we can beat this COVID-19 wave and enjoy a safe and healthy spring and summer!


Banner photo by Keira Burton. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Pexels.

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of a million students across 1,800+ schools

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.