On August 12th, 2020, the Illinois Department of Health released additional guidance for those who manage public school staff and students. This extra guidance comes just days before District 117 begins remote learning on August 17th.
Even though District 117 is carrying out remote learning, we do have students coming into our facilities. We have created safe spaces for learning to continue for several of our District 117 families during the school day. We also have students coming into our facilities in the afternoon for approved IHSA athletic practices, as well as approved club and activity meetings.
It is really important to understand what happens if a student or staff member in your household is suspected with COVID-19 symptoms and the response that District 117 is required to take. Note: We have to send anyone with suspected symptoms home, as well as their siblings.
Here are a few of the FAQ items pulled from the 10 page additional guidance:
If a student is sent home sick with suspected COVID-19 symptoms (e.g., runny nose, fever, diarrhea, etc.), must all their siblings/household members be sent home as well and quarantined for 14 calendar days?
Yes, if one of the household members is being evaluated for COVID-19, the rest of the household must be quarantined until an alternative diagnosis is made or negative result received. If the sick student becomes a confirmed case (i.e., tests positive for COVID-19) or a probable case (i.e., has COVID-like symptoms and is epidemiologically linked to known case), the local health department (LHD) conducting contact tracing will place household contacts, including siblings, in quarantine for 14 calendar days. The health department also will provide guidance on how to safely quarantine and isolated within the household.
How many symptoms does a person need to have to be considered suspect COVID-19?
Students and staff exhibiting one or more COVID-like symptoms should be immediately isolated, and evaluated. Schools should evaluate each student/staff to determine if this symptom is new or if it is part of an existing condition for this student/staff.
The above examples and guidance are only a few scenarios...there are so many unique situations that we will face in the coming months. You can read more of the scenarios put forth to the Illinois Department of Health and their answers in the full guidance document below. Please know that we will do our best to serve our staff, students, and families in the safest way possible.
Click the link below to read the full FAQ