Before President Biden declared the COVID-19 pandemic “over” on CBS Sunday, New York recently stopped requiring schools to report cases and lifted most remaining mask mandates intended to curb outbreaks.
Yet despite officials pushing a post-pandemic outlook, New York’s COVID-19 death toll continued to grow − adding nearly 350 deaths so far in September. And each life lost offered a stark reminder that the coronavirus is still causing untold pain and suffering across the state and nation.
Meanwhile, the USA TODAY Network gathered the following details about recent COVID-19 policy changes in New York, as the state navigates a cautiously optimistic transition to living with the virus amid the lingering threat of a resurgence this fall and winter.
NY schools COVID reports end
In late August, state health officials sent letters to educators detailing the COVID-19 policies for the current school year, including relaxed quarantine and testing mandates.
That letter also noted schools would no longer be required to report daily positive COVID-19 test results among students and teachers to state officials.
The daily test results were also posted on a now-deactivated website, called the School COVID-19 Report Card, which allowed parents to monitor cases in each school.
State health officials, including Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, cited mounting access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments as the primary reason for easing pandemic precautions and case-reporting…