New Pritzker EO Returns Schools to ‘Normal’ Procedures for Infectious Disease Protocols

By Benjamin Cox on March 5, 2022 at 8:02am

Governor J.B. Pritzker has issued updated guidance for Covid-19 in schools.

Yesterday, the governor issued an executive order lifting the school exclusion requirements, shifting schools back to the ordinary processes for handling infectious diseases.

According to a press release from the administration, the executive order was initially put in place to standardize CDC requirements for schools and alleviate the burden on overwhelmed local health departments from having to provide individualized recommendations. The order says that schools and local health departments can now resume exercising their own authority to address infectious disease cases among students and staff.

According to the CDC guidance, everyone who has presumed or confirmed COVID-19 should stay home and isolate from other people for at least 5 full days. They should wear a mask when around others for an additional 5 days. For close contacts: CDC guidance continues to recommend that individuals who are not up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations stay at home and quarantine for at least 5 days after exposure to COVID-19 and wear a mask until day 10. The CDC recommends that close contacts who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines or who are within 90 days of a COVID-19 infection do not need to quarantine. The new CDC guidance was issued on February 25th that lifted masking requirements for most indoor facilities, including schools.

According to the order, it has no impact on the state’s vaccination or testing requirements to screen unvaccinated school staff. Additionally, school districts and private businesses can continue to require masks at their discretion.