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IDPH, ISBE to update COVID isolation guidelines to align with CDC

(The Center Square) – Illinois schools can expect an update on the COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidance to mirror the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC issued new guidance Jan. 4 that shortened the isolation and quarantine periods for the general public.

Parents across the state were confused why such guidance was not being mirrored by Illinois schools. Some districts were following test-to-stay polices that allows students to test out of quarantine.

On Jan. 6, the CDC released an overview of isolation guidance and quarantine for K-12 schools.

A memo from the Illinois Department of Public Health published Friday by the Illinois State Board of Education says the two agencies plan to revise existing regulations and guidance documents to align with the CDC’s update.

The guidance says staff or students who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should isolate for five days after the onset of symptoms, or five days from the collection of a specimen if no symptoms are present.

Asymptomatic positive cases can be released from isolation after five days. If symptoms are present and persist, isolation should end after being fever-free for 24 hours and other symptoms have improved.

The memo from IDPH says schools should ensure that students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 should wear a mask, including at home, for five days.

Details about the updated guidance can be found at the ISBE website.

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