Updates & Information SY2021-22

Update: Feb. 4, 2022

There was a court ruling in Sangamon County related to the Governor's Executive Order today.  State agencies and attorneys are still working to determine what the ruling actually means in practicality.  Once we know, as we have consistently stated, we will respond according to the allowances/expectations as provided by the order.  Most of those who are working through the final interpretation believe that there will be clarity by the first part of this next week.  

 

Update: Dec. 28, 2021

CDC Update

Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.

 

If You Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.

If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)

If you:

Have been boosted
OR
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months
OR
Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.
  • At anytime you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home

If you:

Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted
OR
Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted
OR
Are unvaccinated

  • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5 if possible.
  • At anytiime you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home

Implications to our protocols: 

  • As long as the Governor's order remains in place, we will continue to adhere to the masking mitigations as prescribed and most educationally appropriate.
  • If you test positive, you must isolate for 5 days and can return to school on day 6, assuming symptoms have resolved.  Counting Days: Day 0 is either the day on which you first have symptoms or if you never have symptoms then it is the day on which you test positive.  Isolation timeline, Day 0 + 5 Days, then return on the next day.
  • If you have been exposed to someone testing positive, and you have followed the vaccine protocols defined by the CDC, as long as you remain asymptomatic, you may be in school.
  • If you have been exposed to someone testing positive, and you have been unable to follow the vaccine protocols defined by the CDC, you must quarantine for 5 days, if you remain asymptomatic you may return to school on day 6.   Counting Days: Day 0 is the last day of your exposure to a positive case.  Quarantine timeline, Day 0 + 5 Days, then return on the next day.
  • We still believe that your vaccination status remains private medical information and the district will not be requesting any proof of vaccination.  We continue to trust in the personal responsiblity of our families to adhere to practices that advance the interest of their own children and that of our school community.

 

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. 13, 2021

Quarantine vs Isolation (principles remain the same but timelines have changed per CDC 12/28/21)

 

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.