Illinois has adopted the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance regarding COVID-19 and schools for the coming school year. The guidance is aimed at helping school administrators provide in-person learning in a safe manner for students and staff. To support that guidance, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has provided a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to further clarify things, and families may find the information helpful as well.

The FAQs are divided into different areas. Here are the areas and questions. For the answers to each of these questions, please see the IDPH FAQ page.

Vaccination

  • What is the importance of vaccinations in supporting full in-person instruction?
  • Is there a state mandate that students or staff must obtain the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • How can a school determine if a student is vaccinated?

Masking

  • Who should wear masks in schools?
  • May a school opt to make mask use universally required?

Physical Distancing

  • What are the CDC’s physical distancing recommendations for individuals in classrooms?
  • What additional prevention measures should schools adopt if maintaining physical distancing of at least 3 feet between students is not feasible in their facilities?
  • What are the CDC’s physical distancing recommendations for cafeterias and other areas where food is consumed?

Testing

  • How can testing be used to support in-person instruction?
  • How can testing be used to support participation in extracurricular activities?

Contact Tracing and Quarantine

  • How are close contacts determined in school?
  • What options are available for unvaccinated students to return to school from quarantine after an exposure?

Determining Prevention Strategies

  • How should schools apply the CDC’s recommended layered prevention strategies?
  • What does the CDC guidance say about selecting appropriate COVID-19 prevention strategies in schools?
  • How can schools determine what level of transmission is occurring in their community?
  • How can schools determine vaccine coverage in their community?
  • What are the CDC’s requirements and recommendations for school buses and other school-related transportation?

Please download the document and share it with your members.

Graphic courtesy of the US Army.