Possible Exposure Info
Quarantine vs. Isolation
IDPH Decision Tree
Frequently Asked Questions
Provided by The Illinois Department of Public Health and our School Nurse
What actions should be taken by students/staff with COVID-like symptoms?
All students and staff sent home with COVID-like symptoms should be diagnostically tested. Students and staff should remain home from school until they receive the test results.
If a student is home sick with suspected COVID-19 symptoms, must all their siblings/ household members stay home as well?
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 or a probable case, the local health department conducting contact tracing will place household contacts, including siblings, in quarantine for 10 calendar days.
If the sick person has a known condition causing the symptoms, e.g., allergies, migraine, etc., can this be taken into consideration?
Every symptomatic person should be evaluated by their healthcare provider on a case-by-case basis and decisions to test for COVID-19 should be based on their personal health history. Each episode of new symptom onset should be evaluated. Diagnostic testing is strongly encouraged whenever an individual experiences COVID-like symptoms; it is possible to have COVID-19 and other health conditions at the same time. Early diagnosis can prevent further transmission. Individuals who have undergone testing should remain home away from others while waiting for COVID-19 test results. For those with underlying conditions who do NOT have COVID-19, documentation will be needed from their doctor that states they are safe to be in school.
Who is a close contact?
A close contact is anyone (with or without a face covering) who was within 6 feet of a confirmed case of COVID-19 (with or without a face covering), for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the infectious period. The infectious period of close contact begins 2 calendar days before the onset of symptoms (for a symptomatic person) or 2 calendar days before the positive sample was obtained (for an non-symptomatic person). If the case was symptomatic (e.g., coughing, sneezing), persons with briefer periods of exposure may also be considered contacts. Close contacts to a confirmed case of COVID-19 are required to remain in quarantine at home for 10 to 14 calendar days starting from the last day of contact with the confirmed case.
If a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case is identified in a classroom, or on a school bus, who will be considered close contacts that need to be quarantined for 10 - 14 calendar days? Will this include the entire classroom or all the students on the bus?
Exposure in a classroom should be limited to everyone with whom the confirmed or probable COVID case had close contact, within 6 feet, for a cumulative total of at least 15 minutes throughout the course of a day 24-hour period. The school nurse will work with each positive case to determine close contacts.
If a student or staff member is identified as a close contact to a person with COVID-19 and is instructed to quarantine for 10 - 14 calendar days, are their household members and close contacts also required to be in quarantine?
No. Contacts of a person who is a close contact to a COVID-19 case (i.e., contacts to contacts) do not need to self-quarantine unless they develop symptoms or if the person identified as the close contact develops COVID-19. They should, however, monitor themselves closely for symptoms of COVID-19 and if they become symptomatic, self-isolate and seek medical evaluation/testing.
Is a healthcare provider’s note required to return to school after a ‘close contact’ to a case completes the required time frame in quarantine?
Persons who remain in quarantine for 10 - 14 calendar days and who remain asymptomatic throughout quarantine do not need a healthcare provider’s note to return to school. Documentation to return to school includes a Release from Quarantine Letter which can be found below.
Are masks required to attend school?
Yes. All persons on school grounds including students, teachers, parents, custodial staff, etc., must wear a face covering at all times when in school or in transit to and from school via school bus. The face covering should have two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19, and should be worn over the nose and mouth, secured under the chin, and should fit snugly against the sides of the face without gaps. Masks intended for healthcare workers, such as N95 respirators, should not be worn. Masks with exhalation valves or vents should not be worn. Neck warmers or “gaitors” should not be worn. Masks must have ear loops. If a staff or student’s mask does not meet school standards, they will be provided with an alternative mask to wear.
What is the primary purpose of a face covering?
Cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. The primary purpose of a face covering is to prevent the wearer from potentially exposing or infecting others. To be effective, face coverings must be worn properly.
How should cloth face coverings be cleaned and stored?
Personal cloth face coverings should be taken home, laundered daily, dried in a dryer, and reused. Personal cloth face coverings should be stored between uses in a clean sealable paper bag or breathable container.
Have you been told to QUARANTINE?
All students and staff members who have been placed in quarantine will be required to turn in the Release From Quarantine Letter below prior to returning to the school building. Feel free to copy and paste the text into an email and send it over to the nurse!