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NYC public schools easing COVID guidelines

New COVID guidelines for NYC public schools
New COVID guidelines for NYC public schools 01:34

NEW YORK - New York City education officials say COVID rules for public schools won't be as strict when students return to the classroom in a few weeks. 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy just announced similar changes. 

CBS2's Elijah Westbrook has more on what to expect. 

The new guidelines range from testing to masking and isolation. With just three weeks left until the new school year, parents CBS2 spoke with in New Jersey, who undergoing similar changes, say they're split on the decision. 

New York City public schools are entering a new phase, which some may call more normal. Starting in September, the Department of Education says vaccinations are required for all employees, visitors, and students who play in high-risk extracurricular activities. Daily health screeners are not needed, but if people are sick, they should stay home. 

Students and staff who test positive for COVID must isolate for five days. They can return on day six with no symptoms, or, if they're improving, wear a mask until day 10. 

Similar guidance went into effect for New Jersey public schools. Parents CBS2 spoke to there say they're a bit cautious. 

"I think I do feel okay with it," one person said. 

"It's a little iffy. It's a touchy subject," said another. 

"Seeing the cases go up and down, I'm definitely a little cautious," one person said. 

Other notable changes include each student and staff member receiving four COVID tests per month to take home, and wearing masks indoors is still strongly recommended. 

White House COVID Advisor Dr. Ashish Jha says the federal government is helping in this effort in time for kids to return to school in the fall. 

"Congress literally, you know, allocated tens of billions of dollars to schools for improving ventilation. So the resources are out there for schools to do everything they need to do to keep kids and teachers and everybody else safe and open. School districts need to be using those resources," Jha said. 

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