Over the summer 2022, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) adopted updated guidance for schools and Early Childhood Education settings. This guidance focuses on everyday actions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including the virus that causes COVID-19. These actions include:
- Staying up to date with all routine vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccines as vaccination continues to be the leading public health strategy for reducing severe disease associated with COVID-19.
- Stay home when you are sick. Students and staff with symptoms of infectious disease should remain home until symptoms have improved/resolved. Long standing district protocols require students who have been ill to remain home until they have been fever free for 24 hours without the help of fever reducing medications and that 24 hours have passed since their last episode of vomiting or diarrhea. Isolation and quarantine protocols and recommendations specific to COVID-19 are outlined below.
- Optimize Ventilation and improve indoor air quality.
- Encourage proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
- Implement cleaning and disinfecting practices.
DeKalb County continues to report high levels of community transmission. Individuals who experience symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19 or who have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 should be aware of the following protocols and recommendations:
Individuals Who Are Experiencing Symptoms of COVID-19
There are a wide range of symptoms that can be associated with COVID-19. If an individual exhibits any of the following symptoms, that individual should isolate away from others and testing for COVID-19 is strongly recommended:
- Fever (100.4 or higher)
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
- Muscle or body aches
Rapid antigen testing is available throughout the district. Home tests are also accepted. School health staff are available to assist you with arranging testing and provide recommendations for testing timelines based on progression of symptoms.
Individuals Who Have Tested Positive for COVID-19
Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to remain home from school/work for at least 5 days* from the onset of their symptoms (or 5 days from their positive test if they do not have any symptoms). The date of onset of symptoms is considered day zero.
COVID-19 positive individuals can return to school/work on day 6 if their symptoms have resolved/largely improved and they have been fever free for 24 hours without the help of fever-reducing medication and at least 24 hours have passed since their last episode of vomiting or diarrhea. Upon return those individuals are strongly encouraged to wear masks anytime they are around others on days 6-10.
*There is a wide range of developmental abilities and health conditions amongst our Early Child Education (ECE) students which makes that school setting unique. ECE students may return on day 6 if their symptoms have improved, they have been fever, diarrhea and vomiting free for 24 hours AND have a negative rapid antigen test on day 5 or 6 (free testing is available through the school district). If the rapid test on day 5 or 6 is positive, this indicates that the student is still infectious and will need to remain home until they have a negative test OR until day 11, whichever comes first. The school Nurse, Mrs. Panozzo, will be available to assist you in arranging testing and calculating return timelines.
COVID-19 Isolation Calculator
Individuals Who Have Been Exposed to an Individual Who Has Tested Positive for COVID-19
Individuals who have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive are strongly encouraged to closely monitor for signs and symptoms of covid, and wear a mask when around others for at least 10 days from the date they were exposed. Testing for COVID-19 is recommended for asymptomatic individuals 5 days after they were exposed. If symptoms of COVID-19 develop the individual should isolate and seek testing.
Case Investigation and Contact Tracing
District health staff will not be conducting contact tracing routinely, we will however be monitoring cases for patterns and trends and potential outbreak scenarios while working closely with the DeKalb County Health Department.