Young Explorers Isolation & Quarantine

  • New Guidance March 22

    The Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education released updated Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in Schools that align with CDC guidance for P-12 schools on March 22, 2022, which follows isolation and quarantine to 5 days in some circumstances.  District 28 will adhere to the updated guidance. The When Can I Return to School diagram illustrates the decision tree.

    While we fully agree that it is best for students to attend school in person and to return to school as quickly as possible, we also need to recognize that our students are consistently within 3-feet of others in their instructional pod. We created instructional pods as a way for students to engage in play-based learning with a consistent peer group in order to minimize the number of close contacts needing to quarantine as a result of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case. In response to the new guidance and in order to provide the most protection for our students, we will now require all students who want to return to school after 5 days of a positive result or close contact to obtain a negative test result. Please see below for specific details:

    Quarantine for Close Contact

    Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine but should get a test on or after day 5 from exposure. Individuals who have tested positive in the last 90 days are not considered close contacts.

    Students or staff who are not fully vaccinated and vaccinated individuals 18 and older who have not received a booster dose when eligible (unboosted) are required to quarantine for close contact. The quarantine must be at least 5 days after exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19. They may return to school under the following guidelines:

    • remain asymptomatic and
    • test negative for COVID-19 on day five and
    • must wear a mask at all times around others for five additional days. Students and staff must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet when outside before removing their masks.

    Students who are unable to wear a mask at all times under the guidelines above should quarantine for 10 days.

    Isolation for a Positive Result or COVID Symptoms

    Staff or students who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should isolate for 5 days after onset of symptoms or from specimen collection date if no symptoms are present. Staff or students may return to school after 5 days if:

    • asymptomatic or fever-free without medication for 24 hours, diarrhea/vomiting have ceased for 24 hours, and other symptoms have improved; and
    • test negative for COVID-19 on day five or later with a rapid antigen test. (PCR tests are not recommended in this circumstance as they could provide a positive result even after active viral shedding has stopped); and
    • must wear a mask at all times around others for five additional days. Students and staff must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet when outside before removing their masks.

    If on day 5 or later a student tests positive for COVID-19 on a rapid antigen test, the student may return to school on day 11 (after the onset of symptoms or from the original date a positive test result was obtained) if they are asymptomatic or fever-free without medication for 24 hours, diarrhea/vomiting have ceased for 24 hours, and other symptoms have improved. An additional test would not be required to return to school in this circumstance.

    Example Timeline:

    • Friday (Day 0)-positive test result obtained but student is asymptomatic
    • Wednesday (Day 5): rapid antigen test was positive: student stays home for an additional 5 days
    • the following Tuesday (Day 11): Student may return to school if asymptomatic or fever-free without medication for 24 hours, diarrhea/vomiting have ceased for 24 hours, and other symptoms have improved

    If parents/guardians choose not to have their child tested on day 5 or later in one of the above circumstances, the child must remain out of school for 10 full days, returning on day 11 (after the onset of symptoms, or from the original date a positive test result was obtained, or from date of exposure if a close contact).

    Please direct any questions regarding the above information to Dr. Jenna Eberhardt, Program Director for Young Explorers.