KSD140 Connection

COVID-19 Health and Safety Update ~ 01/10/2022

Dear KSD 140 families,


Last Friday, the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois State Board of Education, and Cook County Department of Health announced their intention to adopt the CDC guidance for K-12 schools that halves the isolation and quarantine period.


This updated guidance will be implemented in D140 schools beginning Wednesday, January 12. As soon as possible, we will contact staff, students, and families who are currently impacted by a quarantine with a revised return to school date.


The most significant changes in the guidance center around isolation and quarantine protocols. Please see below:


  • Quarantine - Students and staff who do not fit the CDC definition of vaccinated and are in close contact with a COVID-positive individual will need to quarantine for 5 days after contact and wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10).

  • Isolation - Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status, should isolate from others for five days. In order to calculate the five-day isolation period, day zero is the first day of symptoms or the specimen collection date if the individual is asymptomatic. Following five days of isolation, staff or students who tested positive for COVID-19 and have no symptoms or have resolving symptoms can return to school.


The Governor’s indoor mask requirement for anyone inside school buildings has not changed and remains in effect.


Thank you for your continued support of our students and teachers. As COVID-19 conditions evolve in the weeks ahead, we will continue to communicate clearly and often regarding any changes affecting our school communities. It’s been a challenging year, but we will continue to push forward together.


Respectfully,

Dr. Shawn Olson

Superintendent

Quarantine vs. Isolation

Quarantine means staying home for at least 5 days after exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19. This is because someone can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 but may not show symptoms. Even though someone may not show symptoms, they can still spread the virus.


Quarantine is different from isolation.


Isolation is used by someone who has symptoms of COVID-19, or tests positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, even if they don’t have symptoms. Isolation helps prevent the transmission of the virus by separating people infected with the virus from those who are not infected.

Quarantine Guidelines:

The revised CDC guidance also addresses the quarantine period for individuals who are close contacts to someone with COVID-19 and groups individuals into two categories.


Category 1 are those who are 18 years old or older and have received all recommended vaccination doses (including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people), those 5-17 years old who have completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines, and those individuals who had a confirmed case of COVID-19 with the last ninety days.


Individuals in this group who are close contacts …


  • do not need to quarantine
  • should wear a well-fitted mask around others for ten days
  • If the individual develops symptoms, they should immediately isolate until a negative PCR test confirms symptoms are not caused by COVID-19


Category 2 are those ages 18 or older who completed the primary series of the recommended vaccine but have not received the recommended booster when eligible, those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine over two months ago and have not received a recommended booster shot, and those who are unvaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.


Individuals in this category …


  • must stay at home and mask around others for five days
  • continue to wear a well-fitted mask around others for an additional five days after (day 6 through day 10)
  • If the person develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should immediately isolate until a negative PCR test confirms that their symptoms are not caused by COVID-19


The full text of the CDC revised guidance for COVID-19 Quarantine for K-12 Schools is available here.

Isolation Guidelines:

The revised CDC guidance states that staff or students who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status, should isolate from others for five days.


In order to calculate the five-day isolation period, day zero is the first day of symptoms or the specimen collection date if the individual is asymptomatic. Following five days of isolation, staff or students who tested positive for COVID-19 and have no symptoms or have resolving symptoms can be released from their isolation.


Ending isolation for people who had COVID-19 and had symptoms:


  • If you had COVID-19 and had symptoms, isolate for at least 5 days. To calculate your 5-day isolation period, day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms develop.
  • You can end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved. Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.
  • You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of your 5-day isolation period. Students who have mask exemption forms or cannot consistently wear a well-fitted mask correctly can return after 10 days.
  • If you continue to have a fever or your other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of isolation, you should wait to end your isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved.


Ending isolation for people who tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms:


  • If you test positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms, isolate for at least 5 days. Day 0 is the day of your positive viral test (based on the date you were tested), and day 1 is the first full day after the specimen was collected for your positive test.
  • If you continue to have no symptoms, you can end isolation after 5 days.
  • You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of your 5-day isolation period. Students who have mask exemption forms or cannot consistently wear a well-fitted mask correctly can return after 10 days.


The full text of the CDC revised guidance for COVID-19 Isolation for K-12 Schools is available here.

Test-to-Stay Program

D140’s Test to Stay program was successfully implemented last fall as an alternative to exclusion when COVID-19 exposures occur at school. The test-to-stay protocols require testing to occur at school; home kits or private testing conducted off school grounds are not an option.


Parents/Guardians of students who are exposed to COVID-19 will be contacted by the school nurse to determine if they would like to consent to the test-to-stay program administered at school through LTE Preventative Health Systems. If the parents/guardians are interested in having their child participate in D140’s Test-to-Stay program, they will receive a consent form, and their student will be tested at school on days one, three, five, and seven.

COVID-19 Symptoms

We encourage you to continue closely monitoring your child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms and to keep them home if they are experiencing symptoms or if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. We appreciate your continued understanding and commitment to keeping D140 schools open.

D140 COVID-19 Dashboard

D140's COVID-19 Dashboard provides the community with current districtwide positive COVID-19 case numbers and quarantine information. It is updated each Friday by 10:00 am.


For additional information, please visit our website at COVID-19 Reporting and Updates.