Bus Close Contacts and Voluntary COVID Testing Program Signup

covid testing bus close contacts update

Dear District 58 Families,

We have good news to share regarding two important topics: bus close contacts and voluntary COVID testing. 

Bus Close Contacts

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has changed its definition of a school bus close contact to the following: An individual exposed to a COVID-19 case on a bus will not be considered a close contact if the following three criteria are met:

  • Both the positive COVID case and the individual correctly and consistently wore a mask 
  • The individual was seated at least 3 feet from the positive case
  • The bus windows were open at the time of exposure

Previously, a bus close contact was considered any individual seated within 6 feet. This update will greatly minimize the number of bus-related close contacts.

The IDPH confirmed this update with the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) on a call yesterday and again this morning. DCHD expects the IDPH to include this information in their next school guidance update. 

Voluntary COVID Testing Program Signup

District 58 is pleased to partner with Northshore Clinical Labs to offer voluntary, free PCR COVID-19 testing for District 58 students and employees. Registration for this optional testing program begins today, and we hope to launch it at all District 58 schools the week of Sept. 19.

Northshore can provide three types of testing services for District 58 students and staff:

  1. Weekly screening testing (routine testing)
  2. Symptomatic testing (testing when a student or staff member develops symptoms at school)
  3. Test-to-Stay (testing for situations in which a student has been identified as a close contact) 

Test-to-Stay, an IDPH-endorsed process that allows a close contact to remain in school with regular antigen testing, is not currently available. All DuPage County school districts are working with the DuPage County Health Department to determine when this could be implemented; however, we are preparing to implement it and will inform all families and staff if and when it becomes an available option.

When registering, participants may select which of the above three COVID testing services they wish to use. For instance, a parent can provide consent for their child to participate in all three options, or consent for just symptomatic testing, if desired. 

This testing opportunity is offered with no out-of-pocket cost to participants who have health insurance coverage (no copay, cost-sharing, or impact to deductible). For those who choose not to provide their insurance or are uninsured, coverage will be provided at no cost through the HRSA COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund. In no event shall the patient be responsible for fees related to their COVID-19 testing provided by Northshore Clinical Labs. 

Test: RT-PCR anterior nasal swab OR cheek swab (families can choose their preferred method)

Turnaround Time: Results will typically be made available within 24 hours.

Communication: Results will be made available to District 58 via a secure web-based clinical portal. Each family will also receive a PDF of their student’s results via secure email.  Additionally, families will be contacted via phone for positive student results.  

To opt-in to this voluntary COVID-19 testing program, parents/guardians must register and provide consent via the links below by Sunday, Sept. 19. Please note, we request registration by this date so we can plan appropriate testing staffing and resources. However, parents/guardians may opt their child in or out at any time, and they may provide immediate consent if their child is symptomatic while at school and desiring an onsite testing option. 

We shared student COVID testing program registration links with all families by email on Wednesday, Sept. 15. Please see your email to access your school's registration link.

About Northshore Clinical Labs: Northshore Clinical Labs is a high-complexity CLIA-certified clinical laboratory that works closely with state/local health authorities to provide federally-funded (no out-of-pocket cost) COVID-19 services, supplies and healthcare personnel. Supported by 200+ team members across the city and surrounding suburbs, Northshore Clinical Labs helps long-term care facilities, companies, restaurants and hospitality operators, K-12 schools, colleges, summer camps and youth programs, and at-risk communities mitigate the spread of secondary transmission and raise the level of immunity against COVID-19.

Please direct any questions to Assistant Superintendent for Special Services Jessica Stewart at jstewart@dg58.org or 630-719-5824.  


Dr. Kevin Russell
Superintendent of Schools