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NYC schools are passing the test—this Midwinter Recess, let’s all make sure we pass ours.

Since the start of the 2021–22 school year, New York City schools have remained among the safest places for young people to be during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to our schools’ COVID health and safety policies, City schools have been able to stay open all year long with few disruptions. We are incredibly grateful to the thousands of DOE staff members who have worked daily to keep our schools safe and open for learning, and we thank all City families for working with us on behalf of your children all year long.

To ensure that the City’s school communities remain safe and open for learning throughout the remainder of the school year, we are strongly encouraging all families to get their students tested for COVID-19 before schools reopen from Midwinter Recess on February 28, 2022—regardless of vaccination status.

Students can test for COVID through a PCR, lab-based rapid test, or through a home rapid test kitwe will be providing each City student with two COVID-19 home tests.

When should my child take their COVID-19 tests?

  • First Test:
    • Saturday, February 26
    • Evening recommended
  • Second Test
    • Sunday, February 27
    • 24 hours after the first test

If your child tests negative and feels well, they should come to school on Monday, February 28.

All home COVID-19 rapid test kits come with printed instructions—please follow the listed directions when administering the test. You may also watch a video, like this one for the iHealth test kit, for directions.

What if my child tests positive on one of the tests?

  • Pre-K and Younger: Please inform your child’s school/program, and isolate your child for ten days. Your child may return to their school/program after ten days have passed after receiving your positive test result.
  • Kindergarten and Older: Please inform your child’s school/program, and isolate your child for five days. Your child may return to their school/program once six days have passed from their positive test, and they must wear a well-fitting mask while at school through the tenth day following their positive test.

Please remember that if your child tests positive, your child is entitled to asynchronous remote learning and office hours for the duration of your child’s isolation period. For more information about our schools’ COVID-19 safety procedures, please refer to our COVID-19 Guidance Charts on our webpage.

Also please be advised that while we are recommending that all students get tested before Midwinter Recess ends, we are not requiring students to provide proof of a negative test in order to return to school on February 28.


Once again, we thank all of you for doing your part to keep COVID-19 out of our schools! As a reminder, vaccination is the best tool we have to fight COVID-19—children ages five and up are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and booster shots are also available for fully vaccinated people ages 12 and up. If your child is eligible, but not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, please take the opportunity during Midwinter Recess to make an appointment for vaccination on the City’s Vaccine Finder or by calling 311. The vaccine is free to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration or insurance status.

On behalf of the NYC Department of Education, we wish everyone a wonderful Midwinter Recess.


Photo by Alex Koch. 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

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