Updates & Information SY2021-22

Update: Nov. 28, 2021

We remain in constant conversations with other school districts throughout the area about COVID related concerns.  There were a few districts experiencing a spike in COVID positive cases beginning two weeks ago.  The spike has landed in our school district this past week.  We are currently experiencing our largest number of positive students since the beginning of the pandemic.  The most common symptoms amongst those testing positive at this time are cough and congestion.  As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the symptoms, especially for our students, have most frequently been consistent with the common cold.  The typical nature of the symptoms has made it more difficult to differentiate between common pre-pandemic conditions and COVID-19.  While many of the mitigations remain in place especially at school, the most significant practice to limit the transmission of the virus remains staying home when we are experiencing symptoms and proactively testing when those symptoms are consistent with COVID-19.  

 

Update: Nov. 15, 2021

We are going to be down to only 1 reported active positive COVID case in the district by tomorrow.  Everyone else that has reported will be back in school, but it is important to know that we did have an increase in positive cases during the previous 10-days.  We had 6 positive cases between students and staff, which is reflective of a 0.6% positivity rate.  Symptoms that have been commonly reported remain relatively mild and much like the common cold.  There has been a fever and fatigue reported as well in over half of our positive cases.  We again want to share our appreciation for our families continued commitment to keeping symptomatic children home and for getting tested when deemed appropriate.

 

Update: Oct. 7, 2021

There has been an update to the exclusion of children in the same household.  If one of your children has symptoms consistent with COVID, but none of your other children are symptomatic.  Only the symptomatic child is required to stay home and should be tested.  The other children can attend school as long as they remain asymptomatic.  Keep in mind, if the symptomatic child were to test positive for COVID-19, then the other children would become close contacts and have to follow the customary quarantine procedures.  Also, if one of the other children were to become symptomatic, you should then follow the procedures associated with our wellness protocols.

 

Update: Sept. 23, 2021

We found out this morning around 6:30 a.m. that the link to our reporting form was broken.  We are fixing it this morning.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  The form should be functioning normally again (8:54 a.m.)

 

Update: Sept. 14, 2021

We are experiencing some positive tests and while minimal, 4 positive cases as of today from all students and staff, we are seeing consistent symptoms in those who are testing positive.  The most common symptoms are a runny nose and cough, occasionally this is also associated with a low-grade fever.  As we approach the harvest season, a runny nose and cough are easily associated with allergies and can easily be written off.  Please be conscious of the evolving symptoms and realize that it appears to be more relevant to our younger students in the district, where last year, we saw more incidence in our high school students.   Thank you all for your effort in keeping symptomatic students at home and getting them tested.  We know it is inconvenient, but it is the most important thing we can do to keep your students in our classrooms.  Thank you for the effort that makes all of this possible.

 

Update: Sept. 13, 2021

Quarantine vs Isolation

 

We've had several questions recently as we continue to navigate the implications of COVID-19 and the proactive effort to remain in school.  What we have found through conversation is that people are not always certain about their return to school date.  While we recognize that the McLean County Health Department has the ability to override our local protocols, our goal is to keep healthy students in classrooms as much as possible.  Keep this in mind, Isolation applies to a positive test and Quarantine applies to a close contact.

 

General Principles to Follow

  • If I am symptomatic but do not test positive, return to school when you have been without symptoms for 24 hours.

Simplest thought, if I don't feel well, stay home, if it could be COVID, get tested, if it's not COVID, come back to school when I feel better.

  • If I am symptomatic and do test positive, isolate for 10 days from the first day of symptoms and if symptom free, then return to school on the 11th day.
  • If I am never symptomatic but test positive (likely because I was identified as a close contact otherwise why would I test if not symptomatic), isolate for 10 days from the day of my test and return to school on the 11th day.

Simplest thought, if I test positive, I'm home for 10 days and return on the 11th day assuming I feel better

  • If I am a close contact, we have three choices in the quarantine procedures. 1) Quarantine for 14 days and return on the 15th day, or 2) Quarantine for 10 days and return on the 11th but monitor for symptoms until the 14th day, or 3) Quarantine for 7 days, take a PCR test on day 6, and if negative then return to school on day 8, while continuing to monitor for symptoms for the full 14 days.

Simplest thought, if I am a close contact to a positive, I can return to school after 10 days without having a test or after 7 days but have to have a negative PCR test to return to school

 

Lessons Learned Last Year that are Good Practice

Let’s not forget that before COVID we have had several occasions where we considered deep cleaning over a weekend or closing school for a couple of days because of something spreading through our schools.  There are some key practices that we were more attentive to because of COVID that we believe will have a positive impact on our student wellness and their attendance regardless of a global pandemic.  We will remain committed to the following protocols.

  • A commitment to remaining home when we don’t feel well helps us reduce the transmission of illness and keeps more students and teachers at school more often.

  • Attention to hand hygiene makes a difference in the overall wellness of our staff and students.

  • The additional cleaning protocols, especially our UVC lights, help in reducing the potential of transmission of bacterias and viruses.

  • The availability of touchless water fountains and sinks help in reducing the potential of transmission of bacterias and viruses.