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COVID-19 Updates and Frequently Asked Questions

This message was sent to all parents via email and text on January 18, 2022 at approximately 6:00 p.m.

 

COVID-19 Updates and FAQs

 

On Tuesday, January 11th, 2022, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released updated guidance for K-12 schools regarding isolation and quarantine guidelines in school.  The following FAQs and flow chart outline West Chicago Community High School’s procedures beginning 1/19/2022 in response to the new guidelines.  

 

1.  What do I do if my child has COVID-Like symptoms?

If your child has COVID-Like symptoms, please do NOT send him or her to school. 

Report the absence on the Attendance Line at (630) 876-6336 and leave a voicemail reporting the absence and describing the symptoms.  If your child’s absence and symptoms is due to a possible case of COVID-19, then he or she will have to test negative for COVID-19 to return to school OR remain at home for at least five days until the symptoms are improving, AND he or she is fever free for twenty-four hours.  A staff member from our Health Office will contact you to communicate the return date. 

 

2.  What if my child becomes ill at school?

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19 while at school, the Health Office is able to administer a rapid antigen test for COVID-19 with parent permission.  

In December, parents had the option to reply to a survey to give permission for the Health Office to test their child for COVID-19 if he/she has COVID-Like symptoms at school.  If you did not reply to the survey but would like that option to be available, please contact our Health Office at (630) 876-6245.

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please see question three.  

If your child tests negative for COVID-19, he or she may still be sent home until his or her symptoms improve. The Health Office will contact parents.

 

3.  What do I do if my child tests positive for COVID-19?

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, you must report the positive test results on the Attendance Line at (630) 876-6336.  Someone from our Health Office will follow-up regarding next steps and the timeline for your child’s return to school.  Depending on when your child’s symptoms end, he or she may be able to return to school after five days of isolation.  However, if symptoms persist beyond five days, your child may be required to remain out of school for up to 10 days. (Please refer to the attached flow chart.)

 

4.  What do I do if my child is a close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive?

The procedure for a student who is a close contact depends upon the child’s vaccination status.  

If a fully vaccinated student (see question six for a definition of “fully vaccinated”) comes in contact with a COVID-19 positive case, they are NOT considered a close contact and can remain in school.  They may be asked to test for COVID-19 five days after their exposure to a positive case.

If a student who is a close contact to a COVID-19 positive case is NOT fully vaccinated, (see question 6 for a definition of fully vaccinated,) he or she MUST isolate and remain out of school for at least five days before returning to school.  Students may be asked to test for COVID-19 five days after close contact prior to returning to school.  Any close contacts will remain out of extracurricular activities for 10 days even if they return to school after five days.

Students considered close contacts may be able to remain in school through the Test to Stay (TTS) protocol.  (Please see question five for more information on TTS.)`

If exposure occurs during an extracurricular activity or outside of the school day then students must remain out of school for at least five days.  For exposures outside of the school day TTS is not allowed.

Please refer to the attached flow chart for further guidance.

 

5.  If my child is a close contact of a COVID-19 positive case and is not fully vaccinated, can he or she Test to Stay (TTS) in school?

West Chicago High School may use the Test to Stay protocol to test students who are close contacts in school.  However, TTS will only be used for students who were exposed to COVID-19 during the school day. If a student was exposed at home, outside of school or even at a school-sponsored extracurricular activity, the student is not allowed to use the TTS strategy to stay in school, and the student must isolate out of school for at least five days.  

If a student is eligible to use the TTS procedure to remain in school, he or she must test on multiple days and continue to test negative for COVID-19 each time. The Health Office will coordinate the testing schedule with each student individually based on the date of close contact and days that school is in session.  

Any student who uses the TTS strategy to remain in school will NOT be able to participate in ANY extracurricular activities for ten days after their initial exposure. TTS allows students to remain in school but does not allow for participation in after school activities for ten days after exposure.  

 

6.  What is the definition of “Fully Vaccinated”?

Any student between the ages of 5-17 who has completed Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine series is considered fully vaccinated when determining close contacts. Any student who is 18 or older and has completed the Pfizer BionTech COVID-19 primary vaccine series or both doses of the Moderna vaccine series AND a booster (if eligible) is considered fully vaccinated when determining close contacts. Please refer to IDPH guidance for further information on vaccination status.

 

7.  If my child has to isolate at home, what should we do to keep up with school work?

Your child’s teachers will be notified that your student will be out for five to ten days. Please have your child email their teachers to coordinate assignments and to discuss the support that they will need while isolating at home. Teachers are the best resource.  The supports or modifications teachers offer will likely look different from course-to-course due to the varying nature of the grade level and class, as well as the time in the semester.

If your child needs additional support to stay connected with his or her teachers and successfully complete school work, we offer “Academic Coaching.” A D4 staff member who serves as an Academic Coach will reach out to your child, help him or her prioritize assignments, help communicate with teachers and navigate working from home.  If you believe your child needs that support, please contact Mary Howard, the Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning at mhoward@d94.org.

 

Click the graphic below to view a larger version.

Updated Isolation & Quarantine Guidance