Health and Wellness Update

September 17th, 2021

Good Afternoon Zion District 6 Staff,

The Governor's mandate to be vaccinated or participate in BinaxNOW/Covid testing is required by this Sunday September 19th, 2021. If you haven't sent a copy of your Covid vaccination card or let me know if you are participating in weekly testing, this is due by no later than this Sunday. This decision to mandate vaccines or testing is not a District 6 decision. This is an Executive Order signed and brought forth by the Governor of Illinois. I understand concern from everyone at this time about being required to make this choice. As an Illinois Public School District we must follow this mandate. If we do not receive your decision by Sunday, I will send out an email to follow up. If we still don't receive a response, HR will be notified. Please reach out to me with any questions.

A religious or medical exemption for the vaccine is NOT an exemption to get Covid tested weekly. The religious exemption will not be accepted in lieu of getting tested weekly. You must choose to either be vaccinated or test weekly in the school building.

Outside testing is allowed as long as we get the results each week and have them on file that you are negative. Please let your building's nurse know if you are electing to get tested weekly at an alternative site and be sure to submit testing results to your building's nurse and I by Friday of each week.

Thank you for all you continue to do during this time. Thank you for putting the student's safety and education first and foremost.

Student Immunization Guidance

Last year, IDPH and ISBE waived the requirement for remote learners to show proof of vaccines in Illinois, due to Covid. This year there are more students than usual non-compliant for immunizations and physicals at this time. Nurses are working to contact parents as much as possible to ensure the October deadline for immunizations and physicals is met. For those students that are non-compliant they will be excluded from school on October 15th. Please meet with your buildings nurse if there are any questions regarding exclusions.

The Covid vaccine is not required for children at this time and won't be included in exclusion guidance. Children under the age of 12 are not eligible for the Covid vaccine.


Where do you receive your Covid guidance?

A. We receive directives from Illinois Department of Health and Lake County Health Department with the specific guidance on what constitutes a Covid quarantine. We are in constant contact with health departments to update us on changes in the guidance. We communicate via zoom, phone conference and email to make sure we are receiving all up to date information in real time. Only the guidance that is given to us by the health department can determine a quarantine.

Q. I am a contact to a close contact to a Covid positive case, what do I do?

A. There have been some concerns about tertiary contacts. If a student is a close contact to a positive person, he or she's siblings are considered a third party contact or tertiary contact. The siblings do NOT have to quarantine UNLESS they become symptomatic or the close contact sibling becomes symptomatic. Some parents want to quarantine tertiary contacts, but the county guidance doesn't recommend this. If you are a staff member who is a contact to a close contact, you do not have quarantine. Quarantine only applies to a Covid positive individual or a close contact to a Covid positive individual. Close contact is being within 3 feet for more than 15 minutes to a Covid positive person WHILE MASKED, or 6 feet for more than 15 minutes while UNMASKED. (i.e. while eating)

Q. I am vaccinated, how does the guidance affect me?

A. The health department guidance doesn't recommend vaccinated people to quarantine after a close contact. This has been a concern because of reports of vaccinated individuals contracting Covid. We understand taking the safest route for your family. If you want to quarantine above and beyond the health department guidelines, that is you choice, but it is not in line with the health department quarantine requirements at this time. You can choose to be Covid tested by your building's nurse on day 3, 4, or 5 after exposure the Covid positive individual.

District 6 Covid Protocols

  • 3-feet social distancing recommended at meetings, in work spaces, and in the break rooms.

  • Universal Mask Wearing among all staff in district buildings at all times, despite vaccination status. The only time you can de-mask is if you are in an office alone with the door closed, eating or drinking, or outside.

  • If you are an unvaccinated close contact to a Covid positive person at work and opted into the BinaxNOW testing program, you can continue to work and receive a Covid test by your buildings staff designated nurse on Day 1, 3, 5, and 7 as long as you remain symptom free.

  • If you are an unvaccinated close contact to a Covid positive person at home you must complete a 10 day quarantine.

  • Vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine if a close contact.

  • If you contract Covid, please isolate for 10 days from the start of your symptoms OR if asymptomatic, your test date. Please let your building administrator and the district nurse know right away so contact tracing can be initiated.

  • If you OR any of your household members are symptomatic with any of the below symptoms, you must stay home. The symptomatic person must either get a negative Covid test result or a doctors note clearing them of Covid, regardless of vaccination status. (The district requires a Covid test result or doctors note within 3 days time unless there is an exceptional reason. Please submit to HR and to your buildings designated staff nurse) Please DO NOT come to work with any of the below symptoms.

o Fever over 100.4

o Cough

o Shortness of Breath

o New Loss of Taste or Smell

o Body Aches

o Sore Throat

o Vomiting

o Diarrhea

Please contact HR with any leave questions.