FAQs for Families
1. When should I exclude my child from school due to COVID-19?
A student should stay home from school if he/she has any COVID-19 symptoms or if he/she is a close contact to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
2. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Please keep your child home if he/she displays any of the following symptoms:
- Fever greater than 100.4 F
- New onset of moderate to severe headache
- Shortness of breath
- New cough
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Fatigue from unknown cause
- Muscle/body aches from unknown cause
3. What does it mean to be a close contact of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case?
Please keep your child home if he/she came in close contact with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.
A “close contact” is considered:
- Living in the same household as a person with COVID-19
- Caring for a person with COVID-19
- Being within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes, regardless of whether the person was wearing a mask
- Being in direct contact with secretions from a person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils).
- Being in close contact (as described above) in the 48 hours before a person with COVID-19 developed symptoms.
- Higher risk close contacts, including unmasked lunchroom companions, high and medium risk contact sports teammates and opponents, and music class participants may be assessed for contact less than 15 minutes, as determined by the Health Department.
Someone is “suspected” to have COVID-19 if:
- he/she is demonstrating symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (see list above) and
- he/she has had close contact with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in the past 14 days and
- he/she has not yet received test results or doctor clearance.
Please reference the Illinois Department of Public Health decision tree for more information.
4. What should I do if my child has COVID-19 symptoms?
Please keep your child home from school and let your school know that your child may have COVID-19.
If your child displays symptoms of COVID-19, you may choose to test your child for COVID-19, complete a 10-day quarantine (starting from onset of symptoms), or seek an alternative diagnosis from your child’s doctor.
5. Where can I test my child for COVID-19?
Please click here to view a list of nearby COVID-19 testing sites. Please ensure your child takes the RT-PCR COVID-19 test.
6. What should I do if my child is a close contact to a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case?
If your child is a close contact of a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case and does not display symptoms, your child must complete one of the quarantine options below.
Quarantine Option 1: Complete a 14-day quarantine, starting from the most recent contact with the positive COVID-19 case. This is the option that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends.
Quarantine Option 2: Complete a 10-day quarantine, starting from the most recent contact with the positive COVID-19 case. According to the IDPH, CDC and the DuPage County Health Department, an individual may end their quarantine after 10 days if:
- No COVID-19 symptoms have developed AND IF
- The individual takes a PCR COVID-19 test on Day 6 or later and that test result is negative AND IF
- The individual can maintain 6 feet of social distancing and masking at all times when returning to school.
Schools will aim to reconfigure learning spaces to allow a student who is a close contact to return after 10 days, but this may not always be possible depending on a school's space.
In order to return to school, the child’s parent/guardian must complete and submit the Asymptomatic COVID-19 Quarantine Completion Form to the school’s front office.
7. My child tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, please contact the school immediately so staff can determine whether there were any in-school close contacts. The child must stay home for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, be fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication, and have an improvement of symptoms. The student’s parent must contact the DuPage County Health Department at 312-777-1999 to obtain a Release from Isolation Letter after a student receives a positive COVID-19 test and completes a quarantine.
8. My child has COVID-19 symptoms. What happens if I choose not to test my child?
If a child displays COVID-19 symptoms and does not take a test, the student must stay home for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, be fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication, and have an improvement of symptoms. In order to return to school, the child’s parent/guardian must complete and submit the COVID-19 Quarantine Completion Form to the school’s front office.
9. My child tested negative for COVID-19 and/or my child received an alternative diagnosis from the doctor. What should I do?
If your child had no close contacts and received a negative result on the RT-PCR COVID-19 test, he or she must show proof of the negative test result before returning to school.
If your child had a close contact (see #4 above) and received a negative test result, he or she must still complete a 10-14-day quarantine, beginning with the day the child was last exposed to the close contact.
If your child received an alternative diagnosis from the doctor, please ask the physician to provide proof of the alternative diagnosis. The doctor can write a note or complete this doctor’s clearance letter.