This is the COVID-19 update for Friday, January 7. There are several new notes and important reminders in here as we deal with the omicron surge. As always, you can also visit our COVID-19 Update Center at any time for the latest.
This week’s updates:
- Our COVID-19 dashboard is updated daily with the number of students and staff who test positive or are in quarantine due to exposure. This dashboard is updated as results are provided and may be adjusted retroactively.
- CDC has shortened the recommended period for quarantining and isolating to 5 days. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) have not yet officially changed their school guidance, but say they plan to do so soon. We’ll send an update when that happens. Until then we will continue to adhere to a 10-day quarantine for those who test positive or are exposed.
- Quarantine clarification for when someone else in your household tests positive: 10-day quarantine for exposed household members begins 10 days AFTER the first person started experiencing symptoms. Which means an exposed member of the household must quarantine for 20 days total, unless they are able to fully isolate from the infected household member. Note: These numbers will change when IDPH and ISBE release the shortened quarantine and isolation guidance.
- Everyone age 5 and older is approved for the Pfizer vaccine. The FDA and CDC have also officially authorized and recommended booster shots for everyone age 12 and older. You must be five months past the second dose of the vaccine to be eligible for the booster.
- Visit vaccines.gov to find local availability of the Pfizer vaccine for your child, or to get yourself a booster shot.
- Once your child is fully vaccinated (two weeks after second dose), they can be exempted from weekly saliva testing and will not have to quarantine if they are exposed to a COVID case (as long as they are not experiencing any symptoms). To get these benefits, you will need to inform the district that your child has been vaccinated and can do so by filling out this form. If you do not have a Google account, please submit your child’s vaccination information directly to your school’s office.
- You can choose to still have your child saliva tested weekly, even if they are vaccinated. To do so, please contact your child's teacher if they attend Prairie Trails, Euclid or Indian Grove. If your child attends River Trails, please contact Mary Krall-Meske or Kyle Henkel. They will make sure your child remains on the list. Testing is conducted on Tuesdays at River Trails and Euclid, Wednesdays at Indian Grove, and Fridays at Prairie Trails. You will only be notified if your child tests positive, but can also see the results yourself by signing up for the SHIELD portal.
- This week, Cook County began requiring proof of vaccination for several indoor settings and businesses. This applies to everyone age 5 and older, but does not include schools. For more details about this requirement you can visit the Cook County Public Health website.
- For more information about the vaccine, please visit the CDC’s frequently asked questions page.
- A reminder that meals can be provided for any student who is quarantining due to a positive COVID case or exposure. If interested, call 224-612-7675. Families will be able to pick up meals at River Trails Middle School, or have them delivered.
- Please continue to be diligent about keeping your child home from school if they are not feeling well. Even if symptoms are mild, or possibly unrelated to COVID, err on the side of caution.
- Be extra cautious about attending indoor gatherings or unnecessary travel at this time. Consider limiting or postponing these activities, if possible.
We will continue sending updates throughout the week when it is warranted. Do not hesitate to call either the district office or your school if you have any questions.