The Superintendent of Schools for District 117 is asking parents to give staff time to work through the volume of calls that need to be made now that updated guidelines have been released for schools.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has adopted the new CDC recommendations on COVID isolation and quarantine for schools in Illinois. On December 30th, IDPH adopted the recommendation to decrease isolation for people who test positive from 10 days to 5 days if they do not have symptoms, but then must continue to mask for 5 days after isolation ends. Superintendent Steve Ptacek updated the community and says the change means both staff and students of District 117 who have been excluded will be issued new return dates.
The change in guidance comes as District 117 again set a new high for students out who are positive for COVID, with 62 positives on Thursday and 49 home with symptoms, and 25 staff members positive with an additional 10 absent with symptoms.
Ptacek says the District nursing staff is working on the issue and updated calls would begin going out Friday afternoon. He asks that those waiting for a call to be patient and give the staff time to work through the volume of calls and not call into their respective schools.
On Thursday a total of 330 students were absent due to COVID. The record for absences was 339 on November 13th of 2020, when Ptacek says the District came very close to moving to full remote learning, however, the numbers peaked and then dropped soon after. He says he is hopeful that case numbers will start to drop next week and that the change in exclusion time greatly strengthens their ability to keep schools open for in-person learning.