September 13, 2021

City & State COVID Guidance

Reading Time:   5 minutes

In preparation of the upcoming school year, the Roundtable is committed to helping our community stay abreast of guidance from our city and state governments. Here is the latest:

  • 9/10/2021: On WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an additional requirement for extracurricular high-risk activities, specifically for young people (12+) who are involved in activities such as chorus, musical theater, dance, band and marching band, cheerleading. As the Mayor noted, this requirement “is about extracurriculars, not required subjects.”
  • 9/10/2021: OASP releases Arts Considerations for Safety: In-Person Instruction.
  • 8/30/2021: NYC DOE issues guidance that DOE and City contractors who work in-person in a DOE building, including individuals who provide services to DOE students, must provide proof of vaccination to their employer. All DOE staff and contractors must wear a face covering at all times while in shared workspace in DOE buildings, except while eating or drinking, regardless of the individual’s COVID-19 vaccine status. Click here for Important Vendor Topics webpage.
  • 8/23/2021: Beginning September 27th, NYC will require proof of vaccination for all New York City Department of Education workers. We are waiting for more information about how this mandate impacts DOE vendors.
  • 8/17/2021: The Mayor announced that the Key to NYC vaccine mandate will apply to cultural organizations including museums, galleries, performing arts venues, movie theaters, etc. and will take effect Tuesday, August 17. Enforcement will begin September 13. Click here for Key to NYC FAQ.
  • 8/12/2021: On Thursday, August 12, New York State Department of Education released it’s Health & Safety Guide for the 2021-2022 School Year. Visit page 11 for information about indoor activities including arts education.
  • 7/31/2021: Executive Order 74 requires employees of covered organizations to demonstrate proof of full vaccination or wear face coverings when interacting with the public or City employees. For cultural organizations that have contracts with other City agencies (for example, DYCD, DOE, etc. – not DCLA), note that Executive Order 74 and the “COVID Safe Requirement” still applies to you as a City contractor. Click here for full text of Executive Order 74, and click here for Executive Order 74 FAQ.
  • 7/26/2021: On July 26th, Mayor de Blasio announced that the City is requiring all City and contracted employees to show proof of vaccination or weekly COVID-19 tests. This is referred to as the “COVID-Safe Requirement.

TL;DR (Too long; didn’t read)

  • If a teaching artist and/or administrative staff member is on-site at a school, they will need to be vaccinated and masked. No guidance has been issued on vaccine exemptions.
  • If a teaching artist and/or administrative staff member is on-site, in-person at your arts & cultural organization, they must be vaccinated per Key to NYC mandate. This includes but is not limited to activities such as teaching, conducting or attending a meeting, picking up materials, etc.
  • Students 12+ who are participating in extracurricular performing arts activities (i.e. chorus, musical theater, dance, band and marching band) are required to be vaccinated. We have not yet received guidance on how this applies to arts partnerships.
  • We are still waiting to hear the status of in-person field trips at cultural and arts organizations, especially for students ages 12-21 who are eligible to receive the vaccine.
  • The Key to NYC vaccination requirement does not apply to visitors or artists under the age of 12 who are in-person at your arts & cultural organization. Those under the age of 12 must be masked when visiting your organization.

Additional Resources


Mandates for NYCDOE Contractors

The New York City Department of Education issued guidance regarding vaccine mandates and building safety. Visit the “Important Vendor Guidance” website for more information. Points relevant to arts partner organizations are listed below:

How is the mandate being enforced for contractors? 
DOE and City contractors who work in-person in a DOE building, including individuals who provide services to DOE students, must provide proof of vaccination to their employer. Self-employed independent contractors hired for such work must provide such proof to the DOE. Prior to 9/13, the DOE Vaccination Portal will be enhanced to include a “guest” sign-in feature (similar to the health screener) that allows them upload proof of vaccination if they would like to inform the DOE of their status.

What are some ways we can ensure vaccination proof from CBOs, vendors, and other visitors to schools? 
DOE and City contractors who work in-person in a DOE building, including individuals who provide services to DOE students, must provide proof of vaccination to their employer. Self-employed independent contractors hired for such work must provide such proof to the DOE. Prior to 9/13, the DOE Vaccination Portal will also be enhanced to include a “guest” sign-in feature (similar to the health screener) that allows them to upload proof of vaccination if they would like to inform the DOE of their status. 

Are unvaccinated consultants (i.e. TC coaches, teaching artists) allowed to work with teachers and students?
All DOE/City contractors who work in-person in a DOE building, including individuals who provide services to DOE students, must provide proof to their employer no later than September 27, 2021 or prior to beginning such work that they have received at least one vaccine dose.

COVID-19 Testing – Will there be a testing option from 9/13-9/27?
Yes. As a reminder, all DOE employees and contractors are required to meet the COVID-Safe Requirement, which, beginning 9/13, requires them to:  provide one-time verification that they are vaccinated; OR provide a weekly record of a negative COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test taken within the preceding seven days staff can use the Vaccine Portal to upload test results. For more information please visit Vaccine Portal Infohub page.

Building Safety –  Is there a universal mask mandate?
To align with all staff returning to buildings 5 days a week, as of September 9, all DOE staff and contractors must wear a face covering at all times while in shared workspace in DOE buildings, except while eating or drinking, regardless of the individual’s COVID-19 vaccine status. This aligns with our universal mask mandate in all DOE schools and just revised City policy.