Forest Park School District 91 Covid Health Protocols
**Please note guidance is rapidly changing and these guidelines may change upon discretion from ISBE, IDPH, and/or the CDC.
Covid symptoms to look out for:
(Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus)
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- If your child is experiencing any of the above, please keep them home and call your physician for further evaluation. Please note that your child may be sent home for one or more of the symptoms notes.
Social distancing guidelines
- 3 feet between students in the classroom.
- 6 feet between students and teachers/staff in the classroom.
- 6 feet between students in non-classroom settings.
What if a child is sent home with suspected Covid?
- If a student is sent home with suspected Covid, that family will need to provide proof of a negative PCR Covid test in order to return. PCR tests are the gold standard for Covid testing and the preferred choice for those individuals who are asymptomatic. Rapid test results will not be accepted for those who are exhibiting symptoms since rapid tests have proven to have a higher rate of false-negative results.
What if a student has been identified as close contact with a positive Covid case?
- The nurse will call home and talk to the family. The student should be Covid tested by day 3-5 after exposure. Families are to provide a copy of the Covid test to the nurse for contact tracing purposes.
- Regardless of Covid test results, unvaccinated students should quarantine at home for a period of 10-14 days (based on the community’s transmission level), if identified as close contact to a positive Covid case. Low to a moderate transmission 10-day quarantine. Substantial and high transmission 14 day quarantine period.
- Test to stay will become an option for those that are considered close contacts but is currently not an option since Cook County has a high Covid transmission level. Once the county moves down to a moderate transmission level we can discuss the test to stay option. More to come on the test to stay option.
- The nurse will reach out to the family at the end of the student's quarantine period to make sure the student has remained symptom-free.
- I encourage all staff members to make a seating chart to aid in contact tracing.
How will close contacts be identified?
- If a student is positive for Covid, contact tracing will be performed by the nurse.
- In the classroom setting a close contact is defined as those that are unvaccinated and were less than 3 feet from the confirmed case, with or without a mask, for a cumulative total of 15 minutes throughout a 24 hour period. This applies to the classroom setting only.
- In the indoor classroom setting contacts who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student do NOT require quarantine as long as both case and contact were consistently masked.
- For contact tracing purposes, in gym areas, multipurpose areas, or hallways, social distancing should be 6 feet. Whenever determining close contacts, if not in the classroom, those that are unvaccinated and less than 6 feet away, without or without masks, for a total of 15 minutes throughout a 24 hour period would be considered a close contact.
- While eating lunch, since masks will be off, the 6 feet rule will be applied for contact tracing purposes. Even though it is a classroom setting, close contacts will be based off of the 6 feet rule since masks will be off.
- Fully vaccinated individuals who remain asymptomatic and those with documented COVID infection with in the past 90 days are excluded from quarantine; however, the CDC recommends fully vaccinated persons to test three to five days after the known exposure and should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result.
What if a student tests positive for Covid?
- Contact tracing will be performed to identify any close contacts.
- Families within the classroom will be notified of the positive case and those considered close contacts will be notified.
- Rooms will be sanitized once students have left for the day.
- Students will isolate for 10 days after testing positive.
- The nurse will reach out to the family at the end of the student's isolation period to make sure the student has been fever-free 24 hours without medication and symptoms have improved, if symptomatic.
- Masks are to be worn at all times when in the building (except if you are in your classroom/office alone).
- Masks may be removed outside during masks breaks.
- SHIELD is a saliva-based PCR testing program that aids in identifying infected persons who are asymptomatic and without known or suspected exposure to Covid. This screening allows us to identify persons who may be contagious so that measures can be taken to prevent further transmission.
- Weekly testing for unvaccinated students and staff.
- Results received in 24 hours.
- The benefit of screening tests in schools is that the results may be used to expedite isolation and quarantine requirements and to further prevent transmission. Additionally, testing can allow students to return to school more quickly if their test results are negative
- More to come as we are set to go live in September.
What is the test to stay option? Currently not an option. More to come!!
- This option may be used for those individuals identified as close contacts where both the positive case and close contact were fully masked.
- This option allows for students/staff to stay in school as opposed to having them quarantined. This option allows for those as identified as close contacts, who are asymptomatic to be tested on days 1, 3, 5, and 7. As long as the individual remains symptom-free and has a negative test result on days 1, 3, 5, and 7, they can stay in school. This individual should continue to monitor themselves for any potential symptoms for 14 days.
Since our community transmission level is high, the health department is not allowing for this option at the moment. Once we get the variant under control and move down to a community transmission level of moderate, we may start the test to stay option.
- Since there is no mandated guidance for traveling, only recommendations, students who travel will be asked to provide a negative test result before returning to school.
What if my student was sent home due to Covid symptoms?
- If your child was sent home due to Covid symptoms, they may return with a negative Covid test, an alternative diagnosis from their physician, or completion of a 10 day isolation period.
Any questions or concerns please contact District Nurse, Michelle Bernero.