Answers to Questions on Potentially Symptomatic Students or Readmittance of Students with Prior COVID-19 Diagnosis

The NYS Center for Health has been receiving large amounts of calls and emails requesting guidance related to the assessment, referral, and return of students or staff who may exhibit signs of illness while at school. The guidance on this comes from the public health authority—the NYS Department of Health and their Reopening Guidance.

School nurses and school administrators have reached out to the Center for additional guidance, charts, and algorithms on school exclusion and return due to COVID symptoms. The NYS Center for School Health does not have any additional tools on the exclusion or return of students or staff at this time but want to share that any COVID-related exclusion or return to school tools created by school districts MUST align exactly with the NYSDOH or NYSED Guidelines for reopening. 

In addition, CDC considerations can supplement—but not replace—state or local health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which schools must comply. Everyone, including the Center, wants to ensure that any plans and practices put in place will provide the safest environments for school staff and students.  

To help schools achieve this goal, we have provided both the NYSDOH COVID phone number and the NYSDOH help request form on our website COVID page and will be including that in our emails sent out with updates. Both the NSYDOH Support and COVIDE Testing contact information is below.

Questions related to NYSDOH Reopening Guidance should be directed to NYSDOH COVID-19 Hotline:1-888-364-3065 or

Questions related to COVID testing should be directed to 1-888-364-3065 or