Dear District 58 Families and Staff,
I hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather. As we head into the weekend, I want to make you aware of a few COVID-19 updates regarding test-to-stay, voluntary testing and revised protocols.
Test to Stay Approved
Test to Stay is a program that allows students identified as close contacts to a positive COVID-19 case to stay in school by getting tested for COVID-19 while at school on days one, three, five and seven after exposure, as long as they continue to test negative. Please note, Test to Stay is only available for those who have been deemed a close contact in school while properly wearing a mask. I am pleased to share that this program has been approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) recently made this option available to school districts in our county. If you would like your child to participate in Test to Stay, please sign up for this option below.
Voluntary COVID Testing
I’m happy to share that District 58’s voluntary COVID-19 testing program began last week and is running very smoothly! If you haven’t already, I encourage families to consider signing their child up for free weekly PCR COVID-19 testing. The weekly test only takes a couple of minutes to administer from the convenience of your child’s school. Families can select from any or all of three types of testing services including:
- Weekly screening testing (routine testing)
- Symptomatic testing (testing when a student or staff member develops symptoms at school)
- Test-to-Stay (testing for situations in which a student has been identified as a close contact while correctly wearing a mask at school)
The student sign up for each school can be found below.
- Belle Aire
- El Sierra
- Henry Puffer
- Indian Trail
- Pierce Downer
Updated COVID-19 Protocols
Last week, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education released updated joint public health guidance, updated frequently asked questions and answers and an updated exclusion decision tree. The guidance is lengthy with many revisions, and our team has been carefully reviewing the guidance to ensure we implement any changes with fidelity. We updated our COVID-19 FAQs for Families page to reflect the changes, but I also wanted to share some of the updates that might affect our community the most:
- If a student’s sibling/household member displays COVID-19 symptoms, the student can continue to attend school IF the sick household member is tested within 24 hours of symptom onset AND if the sick household member is not at high-suspicion of having COVID-19 (i.e. they are not a known close contact or they have not lost sense of taste and smell).
- If a student or staff member has a COVID-19 symptom and he or she already has a doctor’s alternative diagnosis on file in the school’s health office for that particular symptom (i.e. recurring migraines or allergies), the individual can return to school without getting tested. This is our current practice, and it has not changed.
- However, if an alternative diagnosis is not already on file, that individual is required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result in order to return to school. An alternative diagnosis alone will not be accepted. If the student presents both a negative test result AND an alternative diagnosis for that symptom, the school will add that alternative diagnosis to the student’s health file. If the student displays that symptom again, a test would not be required for attending school.
- Students who test positive for COVID-19 are no longer required to present a DuPage County Health Department Quarantine Completion Form prior to returning to school.
While the above represents the most significant changes to protocols, I recommend that our families and staff review the updated joint public health guidance, updated frequently asked questions and answers and updated exclusion decision tree for more information.
Thank you for your continued support and partnership. Have a wonderful weekend!
Dr. Kevin Russell
Superintendent of Schools