Illinois State Board of Education waiting for updated CDC guidance on quarantine times for schools | Illinois

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(The Center Square) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that people who test positive for COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms should quarantine for five days instead of ten, but the new federal policy won’t apply to Illinois schools.

The shortened quarantine rules come amid a surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide, but the federal guidelines won’t apply to Illinois schools. Schools throughout the state will continue to follow existing “Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 school guidance, including for isolation and quarantine times,” according to a statement posted on Twitter. The Illinois State Board of Education said last week in a Tweet that the “CDC is expected to issue updated guidance for isolation and quarantine in school settings shortly.”

“We understand that you are eager for this guidance, and we share your sense of urgency,” the Illinois State Board of Education announced in a Tweet on New Year’s Eve. “At this time, please continue to follow the guidance currently in place.”

The CDC’s “guidance for school settings continues to provide a 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated close contacts in school settings or participation in Test to Stay,” Illinois State Board of Education spokesperson Jackie Matthews said in a statement.

The Illinois State Board of Education has a test-to-stay policy in place. The Test to Stay program allows a student who was in contact with a positive case to avoid a quarantine as long as they are asymptomatic. The student is then tested on days 1, 3, 5 and 7.

“Therefore, IDPH announced on Dec. 30 that schools should continue to follow the current IDPH COVID-19 School Guidance, including the requirements for exclusion of students and school personnel. IDPH has been in communication with the CDC, which has said it expects to issue updated guidance for school settings soon,” Illinois State Board of Education spokesperson Jackie Matthews said in a statement. “ISBE has communicated to schools that at this time, they should continue to follow the guidance currently in place, which adheres to the science and the data to protect students’ access to in-person learning and ensure a safe environment for students and educators. ISBE is working with IDPH to update the school guidance as soon as we know more.”

The CDC announced that people should quarantine if they’ve tested positive for COVID-19 for 5 days instead of 10 days if they don’t have symptoms. Previously, the CDC required 10 days of quarantine time.

Matthew Bedore, of the Will County Health Department, said that people who test positive and develop symptoms should remain home.

“If you are showing symptoms, especially fever, you should stay home,” he said. “Stay home until your symptoms resolve.”

Bedore said people in close contact with someone who tested positive COVID-19 should wear a mask.

“If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, the recommendation is to wear a mask around others for 10 days,” Bedore said. “Then on the fifth day, if possible, get tested.”



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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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