Updated COVID-19 Guidance (January 12, 2022)
January 12, 2022
Dear L-P Staff, Students, and Parents:
The IDPH and ISBE adopted the CDC guidance for K-12 schools that cuts in half the isolation and quarantine period. The purpose of this letter to is summarize the key points of ISBE’s release of the “Revised Public Health Guidance for Schools, Part 5 – Supporting Fully In-Person Learning for All Students, January 11, 2022.” LaSalle-Peru Township High School, effective immediately, will implement the updated guidance. By the end of the week, we will contact staff, students, and families who are currently impacted by a quarantine with a revised return to school date. L-P will remain on adaptive pause through January 14 and return to full in-person learning on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.
Yesterday’s announcement does not change the State of Illinois’ mask requirement for anyone inside school buildings. The Governor’s indoor mask requirement mandate is still in effect until further notice.
L-P HIGH SCHOOL FAQ Guidance (based upon IDPH/ISBE Guidance, 1/11/22)
1. Do vaccinated students and staff have to be excluded from school after an exposure to a case?
A student aged 5-17 years who completed the primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine or students and staff aged 18 years and older who have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary doses for some immunocompromised people, do not need to be excluded after an exposure but should be tested on day 5 and, after returning to school, should wear a well-fitting mask around others for five more days. The individual should be excluded if symptoms develop.
2. What actions should be taken by students/staff sent home with COVID-19-like symptoms?
If you test positive for COVID-19 (exclusion)
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must do the following:
• Stay home for a minimum of five (5) days and a maximum of ten (10) days after the first day of symptoms or the specimen collection date from positive viral test for asymptomatic persons.
• Staff or students who test positive for COVID-19 and have no symptoms or their symptoms are resolving can be released from isolation after day 5. To calculate the 5-day isolation period, day 0 is the first day of symptoms or specimen collection date, if asymptomatic. If they continue to have a fever or other symptoms and have not improved after 5 days of isolation they should wait until the end of isolation (10-days) or until they are fever-free without fever reducing medication for 24 hours, diarrhea/vomiting have ceased for 24 hours, and symptoms have improved.
• Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for five (5) more days after returning to school.
If you have COVID-19-like symptoms (exclusion) Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must immediately be excluded from school until:
• Receiving a negative test result (cannot be a home test) that confirms the symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19; OR
• For a minimum of five (5) days and a maximum of ten (10) days until fever-free without fever reducing mediation for 24 hours, diarrhea/vomiting have ceased for 24 hours, and other symptoms have improved.
• Individuals must continue to wear a mask around others for five (5) more days after returning to school.
• Those testing positive shall be excluded from school and follow guidance for persons testing positive.
If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and have no COVID-19-like symptoms (exclusion)
The following people are close contacts who must be excluded from school:
• Students and staff who are not fully vaccinated (complete primary series).
• Students and staff aged 18 years and older who have received primary COVID-19 vaccine doses but have not received a booster dose when eligible (“unboosted”).
As an alternative to exclusion for individuals who are close contacts, schools may permit close contacts without symptoms of COVID-19 who were exposed in the school setting during the school day (EXCLUDES EXTRACURRICULARS – see #3 below) to remain in school through Test-To-Stay.
Individuals without symptoms of COVID-19 who are NOT participating in Test-To-Stay:
• Must stay home for five (5) days after the last contact with the person who has COVID-19;
• Must wear a mask around others for five (5) additional days and remain asymptomatic; and
• Should test for COVID-19 on day 5. Those testing positive shall be excluded from school and follow guidance for persons testing positive.
The following people ARE NOT close contacts and DO NOT require exclusion from school:
• A student who was within 3 to 6 feet in a classroom setting for at least 15 minutes with a confirmed or probable student case if both case and contact were consistently masked for the entire exposure period.
• Students and staff aged 18 years and older who have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary doses for some immunocompromised people.
• A student aged 5-17 years who completed the primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine.
• An individual on school transportation within 3 to 6 feet if both the confirmed case and the exposed individual were consistently and correctly masked during the entire exposure period and windows were opened (front, middle, and back, or overhead) to allow for good ventilation or HEPA filters were in use during transit.
• An individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days from date of exposure.
• An individual who is solely exposed to a confirmed case while outdoors; however, schools may coordinate with their local health department to determine the necessity of exclusion for higherrisk outdoor exposures. These individuals must wear a properly-fitted mask around others for 10 days and may consider testing for COVID-19 on day 5, if possible. Those testing positive shall be excluded from school and follow guidance for persons testing positive.
3. What restrictions on activities do students and staff have after completing exclusion or Test-To-Stay, especially those returning after 5 days?
Following an exposure occurring in the school setting that takes place during the school day, close contacts are permitted to remain in the classroom as long as the close contacts are tested twice during the period between close contact notification/enrollment in Test-To-Stay and day 7 after exposure, with the last test occurring 5-7 days after last close contact from date of exposure. Students identified as close contacts due to a contact that occurred during an extracurricular activity ARE NOT eligible for TestTo-Stay per the IDPH/ISBE guidance.
However, if the close contact was identified in a classroom, then the student-athlete may continue practicing with his/her team if Test-To-Stay is selected by the student’s parents and the student remains properly masked and physically distanced for days 1-10. Mr. Le has worked out plans with all coaches providing individualized practice sessions for student-athletes either enrolled in Test-To-Stay or for students returning to practice for days 6-10. Students may return to full practices and competitions on Day 11, where previously the student had to sit out for 14 days.
Schools should ensure that there is a plan for students or staff returning after 5 days to stay masked at all times until day 10. During times in the school day when students or staff members may typically remove masks indoors (such as during lunches, snacks, band practice, etc.), schools should have a plan for them to adequately distance from others and ensure they wear their masks when not actively participating in these activities (such as when they are not actively eating). THE ADMINISTRATION IS CURRENTLY WORKING ON A PLAN TO HANDLE LUNCHES FOR STUDENTS ON DAYS 6-10 OF THEIR RETURN TO SCHOOL. The plan will be shared prior to the return of in-person learning on Tuesday, January 18. Thank you for your continued support of our students and teachers. As new information is released, we will be sure to keep our staff, students, and families informed. If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at (815) 223-2373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Steven R. Wrobleski