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    Pritzker Issues New COVID Guidelines For Schools

    Governor JB Pritzker issued an executive order late Tuesday afternoon outlining what actions K-12 schools must take whenever a student, staff or faculty member tests positive for COVID-19.

    The EO is in response to new guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently.

    Under the order, schools are now required to investigate the occurrence of cases and suspect cases in schools and to identify close contacts to determine whether students or school personnel must be excluded from the premises.

    In cases of confirmed or probable infection, schools must exclude students and employees for a minimum of five days, and a maximum of 10 days following the onset of symptoms or the date of a positive test, regardless of their vaccination status.

    Schools also must exclude anyone who was in close contact with an infected person, meaning they were within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour period. That does not apply in some circumstances, such as when an exposure occurs in a classroom setting while both students are properly masked at the time or if the person has been fully vaccinated and, if eligible, has received a booster shot.

    Schools also must make remote learning available to students who are excluded from attendance in accordance with standards set by the state superintendent of education.

    The executive order is effective immediately.

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