Changes to Quarantine and Exposure Guidance
Date PostedJanuary 12, 2022
The Illinois State Board of Education has announced updates to its coronavirus exposure and quarantine regulations and guidance documents, bringing them in line with recent changes made by the Centers for Disease Control that reduced isolation periods from 10 to five days.
A Health Alert previewing the change was released by ISBE and the Illinois Department of Public Health on January 7.
Update: Revised Public Health Guidance for Schools Part 5: Supporting Fully In-Person Learning for All Students was released January 11
Key among the changes is that staff or students who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should isolate for five days after onset of symptoms (or five days from specimen collection date if no symptoms are present). The new information also states that after that five-day period, they should wear a well-fitted mask around others (including at home) for five additional days.
According to the guidance, “to calculate the five-day isolation period, day 0 is the first day of symptoms or specimen collection date if asymptomatic. If they continue to have fever or other symptoms have not improved after five days of isolation, they should wait to end isolation until they are fever-free for 24 hours and their other symptoms have improved.”
Recommendation periods changed for students and staff who are close contacts to someone with COVID-19. Isolation is not necessary for those considered current on coronavirus vaccination. For those who are not current, a five-day isolation followed by five-day masking applies. In all cases, a test is recommended at day 5, plus isolation and test if symptoms develop.