Updated Guidance as of January 11, 2022

Updated Guidance as of January 11, 2022

Issued by Dr. Hank Thiele, Superintendent - January 12, 2022

District 99 Community, 

The CDC, Illinois Department for Public Health (IDPH), and the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) have implemented changes to close contact and quarantine/exclusion guidance. This new guidance reduces the minimum length of quarantine/exclusion under specific situations for those who are close contacts or recovering from COVID to 5 days.

We are currently reviewing all students and staff that are currently isolated/excluded based on their status as a close contact or as a positive case. We will be reaching out to families and staff as soon as possible to review dates individuals are eligible to return. 

Please be patient as we process through these records and please do not call the school or return a student in isolation/exclusion to school before we reach out - this will only slow down the process. We will work to return all students that qualify under this new guidance as quickly as possible. The schools are beginning to make calls immediately this morning.

This announcement does not change the State of Illinois’ mask requirement for anyone inside school buildings. The Governor’s indoor mask mandate for school is still in effect until further notice. A copy of the updated guidance can be found here. A summary of the changes regarding close contacts and confirmed cases is below.

As always, if an individual is running a fever or is still displaying symptoms, they should continue to isolate. I greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we move through these changes and challenging times together. 
Dr. Hank Thiele

Those Exempt from being excluded as Close Contacts
The guidance has changed for students, teachers, and staff who are exempt from being isolated/excluded as a close contact. Those meeting the criteria below will not be isolated/excluded as close contacts and do not need to quarantine if they display no symptoms:

  • Students 17 or under who have completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.
  •  IDPH is also recommending boosters for students after five months.
  • Staff or students 18 or older who have received all recommended vaccine doses, including eligible boosters.
  • People who had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days (tested positive using a viral test).

We strongly encourage students and staff who wish to avoid exclusion, due to being a close contact, get vaccinated.  Individuals who are determined to be close contacts and are not fully vaccinated, as defined above, are ineligible for the exemption and must isolate/exclude as described below.

Close Contacts or Confirmed Cases
The health agencies have updated the isolation/exclusion periods for those who are close contacts or those who have COVID:

  • Students or staff who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should isolate for 5 days after onset of symptoms, or 5 days from specimen collection (test) date if no symptoms are present. 
  • Students or staff who test positive for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status and have no symptoms, or their symptoms have improved, can be released from isolation after 5 days. 
    • To calculate the 5-day isolation period, day 0 is the first day of symptoms or specimen collection date, if asymptomatic. 
    • Individuals who continue to have a fever, or other symptoms, or have not improved after 5 days of isolation, should wait to end isolation until they are fever-free for 24 hours and their other symptoms have improved.
  • Students or staff who test positive for COVID-19 should also do the following: 
    • Continue to follow all mitigation measures including mask wearing and physical distancing for 5 additional days after release from isolation. 
    • If masks need to be removed (e.g., for lunch), ensure 6 feet of physical distancing until 10 days after symptom onset or positive test. We will identify areas in the school where lunch can be eaten and 6 feet of space can be maintained as individuals return after 5 days.

 Based on this updated guidance, we will be contacting students and staff that are isolating/excluded and will update them, as soon as possible,  as to their new date they can return if their symptoms have improved.