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COVID Information

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Please use the links below to answer your COVID related questions and to report an exposure or positive test result.
 
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December 30, 2021Dear School Families, We are excited to welcome students back in person next week following what I hope has been a blessed Christmas season for your family. We start the new year with the added pressure of rising COVID infections in our communities. However, we do so knowing that increased vaccination rates and strict adherence to our safety protocols have allowed our schools to maintain a safe, in-person learning environment. We continue to believe our schools provide the academic, physical, mental and emotional development our children need. ReportingFamilies should report positive COVID-19 test results or close contacts with COVID-19 positive individuals that originated from December 29, 2021, onward immediately to your principal. CDC 5-Day Isolation/Quarantine GuidanceEffective immediately, we have adjusted our isolation and quarantine periods to align with the new CDC guidance. Please read the following information carefully to determine how this guidance may affect your child. The CDC defines fully vaccinated individuals as those who:

  • have received a booster of vaccine, OR
  • have completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months, OR
  • have completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months.

The updated CDC quarantine guidance requires the following:

  • If someone tests positive for COVID, regardless of vaccination status, the individual must:
    • Isolate for a full 5 days regardless if symptoms are present or not and regardless if symptoms resolve before the 5 days are complete.
      • For symptomatic people, Day 1 is the first full day after symptoms develop.
      • For asymptomatic people, Day 1 is the first full day after the positive test is administered.
      • Example: Symptoms develop or a positive test is administered on a Sunday. Day 1 is Monday. The individual isolates Monday through Friday. The first potential day out of isolation is Saturday.
    • If the person is asymptomatic or symptoms resolve before the fifth day, the individual must still complete the full five days of isolation and must wear a mask around others for five more days.
    • The individual must be fever-free for 24 hours before leaving isolation. The 5-day rule still applies, but if a fever is present after 5 days, the individual must remain isolated until fever-free for 24 hours.
      • There is no need to test before leaving isolation. While individuals could remain COVID positive for some time, they are no longer contagious.
  • If a vaccinated individual is a close contact with a positive individual:
    • There is no need to quarantine at home as long as the vaccinated individual is not symptomatic. The vaccinated individual must wear a mask around others for 10 days after exposure.
    • Testing is recommended 5 days after exposure OR if symptoms develop.
  • If an unvaccinated individual is a close contact with a COVID-19 positive person:
    • The individual must quarantine at home for 5 days and continue to wear a mask around others for 5 more days.
    • Testing is recommended 5 days after exposure OR if symptoms develop.

Travel GuidelinesWe have adjusted our travel guidelines to reflect updated CDC quarantine recommendations. We continue to follow the state classifications designated in the City of Chicago Travel Advisory for all schools, whether they are in Chicago, Lake County or Cook County. All schools must observe the following travel guidance:

  • Domestic Travel to an “Orange” State
    • Fully vaccinated students/teachers/staff do not need post-travel COVID-19 testing or self-quarantine as long as they are not symptomatic and provide proof of vaccination.
    • Unvaccinated students/teachers/staff must quarantine for 5 days OR provide proof of a negative test, taken after travel and as close to the start of school as practical, but no earlier than 72 hours prior to returning home. Persons must quarantine until a negative test is received. If the test result is negative, no further quarantine is required.
      • Allowable tests include PCR, Rapid and FDA-approved home tests.
  • International Travel
    • The CDC currently requires a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery to board a plane to the United States. Because of this requirement, no quarantine is required upon arrival, regardless of vaccination status.

Shift to Virtual InstructionWhile we navigate the pandemic’s ebb and flow, we ask for your continued understanding and flexibility. There may be times when we must briefly pivot a classroom(s), or even an entire school, to virtual learning due to rising case counts among the students, the faculty and staff or both. We will make these decisions carefully with health officials and take action only when it is necessary to maintain a safe environment. Your school leadership will communicate about any school-specific decisions or mitigation efforts. VaccinationThere have been widespread reports of hospitalizations of children, overwhelmingly those who are unvaccinated. Children 5-18-years-old are now able to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Please discuss the vaccine with your child’s pediatrician or family doctor. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all children and adolescents 5 years of age and older who do not have contraindications. Older children and adults who are not yet vaccinated can also protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated. The CDC reports that fully vaccinated individuals are 5 times less likely to be infected and 10 times less likely to be hospitalized. While there is no requirement for our students to receive the COVID vaccination during the 2021-2022 school year, getting immunized is a safe, effective way of keeping your student healthy and minimizing the severity of symptoms if he or she were to test positive. Additionally, if your student is fully vaccinated with a vaccination record on file with the school, he or she does not have to quarantine as a close contact. As always, on behalf of the Office of Catholic Schools and the Archdiocese of Chicago, I thank you for your partnership in making this a healthy and successful school year. If you have not yet been vaccinated or received your booster shot, please do so. Let’s make sure we begin 2022 as healthy as possible. Peace,Greg RichmondSuperintendent of Schools