The latest update from the Cook County Department of Public Health on travel guidance is hopefully another step toward increasing student attendance at school while also safely navigating the pandemic.
Cook County has aligned with the state and eliminated automatic quarantine requirements for unvaccinated students who travel out of state and instead requires PCR testing 3-5 days upon return. Students can stay in school pending results as long as they are asymptomatic. The less-than-24-hour travel rule will remain in place.
The district’s SHIELD testing program does qualify as a PCR test, however, the testing window of 3-5 days and the timing of each school’s testing program means the SHIELD test will not be a viable option for all unvaccinated travelers. For example, if a student returns on a Sunday, the PCR test must be completed on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Also, students must be participating in the program to get a SHIELD test after travel. Changes in participation status must be submitted through this form by noon on Friday for the following week.
The CrisisGo health certification will be updated, as follows, to reflect the new guidance:
VACCINATED DOMESTIC TRAVEL: My child is asymptomatic. No quarantine or COVID-19 PCR test required. COME TO SCHOOL
UNVACCINATED DOMESTIC TRAVEL from a yellow state My child is asymptomatic. No quarantine or COVID-19 PCR test required. COME TO SCHOOL
UNVACCINATED DOMESTIC TRAVEL (LESS than 24 hours) My child has returned from an “orange” state, where they spent less than 24 hours and is asymptomatic. COME TO SCHOOL
UNVACCINATED DOMESTIC TRAVEL - (MORE than 24 hours, NOT YET TESTED)| My child has returned from an ‘orange’ state, and I will obtain a PCR test within 3-5 days. COME TO SCHOOL
UNVACCINATED DOMESTIC TRAVEL - (MORE than 24 hours, NEGATIVE PCR TEST) RESULT I have obtained a negative PCR test within 3-5 days of my child’s return to Illinois. COME TO SCHOOL
UNVACCINATED DOMESTIC TRAVEL - (MORE than 24 hours, NOT GETTING TESTED) I have NOT obtained a PCR test and my child will quarantine for 10 days. DO NOT COME TO SCHOOL.
My child recovered in the last 90 days from a documented COVID infection and is asymptomatic. COME TO SCHOOL
If you are traveling, remember to wear a mask and take other recommended precautions, including social distancing, proper hand and respiratory hygiene, and avoiding crowded spaces.