Updated Guidance from IDPH

On January 11, 2022, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) provided new guidance to OLCHS that changes the isolation and quarantine periods for students and staff from 10 days to 5 days.
The specific changes include:
  • A change to the number of isolation days from 10 days to 5 days: Isolation occurs when a person is diagnosed positive for COVID-19. OLCHS will permit students and staff who are confirmed cases to return to in-person instruction if at least five days have passed since symptom onset date (or date of specimen collection from the positive test if asymptomatic), they have been fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, 24 hours from diarrhea or vomiting ceasing, and their other symptoms, such as sore throat or cough have improved, and they continue to wear a mask around others for five more days.
  • A change to the number of school exclusion (quarantine) days for close contacts from 10 days to 5 days: School exclusion should occur when a person is exposed to someone who is positive for COVID-19. Schools must exclude asymptomatic contact for a period of five days. Following the end of the exclusion period, a student may return to school if they remain asymptomatic. We will require consistent masking indoors and outdoors for five additional days. Fully vaccinated students are still exempt from close contact exclusion as long as they remain asymptomatic. 
  • A change to the Test to Stay program: The Test to Stay Program will now require unvaccinated school-day close contacts to be tested twice within the first week after close contact and to remain symptom-free to continue attending school. Reminder: Students must be participating in SHIELD testing to be eligible for Test to Stay. Students who choose not to participate will be excluded from school as described above.
OLCHS will implement the updated guidance immediately. Therefore, students who are currently excluded from school may have their return to school date change. Your new return date will be communicated to you via email and phone call so that our administrative and health staff can apply the new guidance to each case. If you are currently isolating or otherwise excluded from school, you must wait for this notification before returning your student to school.  Please review the message for instructions, which will include checking in with the Nurse’s Office upon your student’s return to school.  
If a student is still experiencing symptoms, they should NOT return early. School staff will advise on the return date. Please report the symptoms to the School Nurse so the health office can advise you on the proper return date.
For individuals who should isolate and/or quarantine moving forward, the new guidance will be followed. 
As a reminder, free, voluntary testing is available weekly at OLCHS, and we encourage everyone to consider testing in order to keep schools safe. If you have previously opted out of SHIELD testing, you can opt your student back in by emailing covidtest@olchs.org. Please click here for more information about SHIELD testing.
Also, please note the mask requirements have not changed. Proper fitting and wearing (covering the nose and mouth) masks are still required for all school and campus activities.
Thank you to all our OLCHS families and staff for their cooperation and support in maintaining in-person learning.
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