COVID FAQ

COVID-19 FAQ

Several really good questions have been asked, and we have received some

additional helpful information from ISBE and the IDHP. We will continue to update as needed. 

 

 

Does a asymptomatic sibling need to be tested in order to return to school if they are quarantining due to a brother or sister testing positive for COVID-19? [Added Sep. 4, 2020]

  • Immanuel will follow the recommendation of the child’s physician. The school office will need written release from the doctor to return to school.

 

Will parents get updates after being notified that someone tested positive for COVID-19? [Added Sep. 4, 2020]

  • Immanuel must maintain the confidentiality rights of our staff and students. Every time a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, parents will be notified by the school office as soon as possible. If a student was a close contact, parents will be contacted by the Kane County Health Department. If parents do not receive any further notifications, they can assume that it is safe for their child to attend school.

 

Carpool arrangements change from time to time. [Added Sep. 11]

  • It is important when there are changes that each child’s parent email the school office, the homeroom teacher, and myself to notify us of who will be in the carpool group and that parental permission has been given. This is to help prevent confusion and because carpooling is considered close contact. We need to know who those close contacts are if someone has tested positive for COVID-19. If someone in the carpool tests positive for COVID-19, then everyone in the carpool will be required to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days, as will their siblings. Because the carpoolers are in close contact, we urge everyone to wear proper face coverings during carpooling.

 

There have been many questions about whether or not someone needs to quarantine. [Added Sep. 11]

  • Each situation has unique circumstances, and factors include any symptoms being experienced and the degree of association with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. We will evaluate those circumstances with the protocols we have in place. We also advise that parents consult with their child's physician if there is a question about whether or not a student needs to be tested or quarantined.

 

What is an "Outbreak"? [Added Sep. 11]

  • Two students or staff members with positive COVID-19 test results within a 14-day window is considered an outbreak, which could limit or even shut-down in-person learning for a class or the school, depending on what the Kane County Health Department requires. Therefore, I want to stress the importance of following all of our COVID-19 protocols so that we can work together to keep everyone safe and healthy with the opportunity to continue learning in person at school.

 

If a student is quarantining, how will school be handled for that student and any affected siblings?

  • It depends on the severity of the illness. If the student is capable of engaging in learning activities, then he or she may learn remotely. If the student is not capable to engaging in learning activities, then a plan would be created by the teacher and parents for the child to make up the work once he or she was well enough to do so. If necessary, accommodations would be made to manage the work load to help the student keep up when returning to learn.

 

What if a student or staff member is sent home due to a fever or other COVID-19 symptoms?

  • Anyone sent home with COVID-like symptoms should be evaluated by their doctor and diagnostically tested. They are to remain home from school until they receive the test results.
  • Students and staff returning to school after experiencing COVID-like symptoms but being diagnosed with a non-COVID illness must meet the criteria for returning to school for the illness with which they have been diagnosed. At a minimum, the individual must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and have had no diarrhea or vomiting in the previous 24 hours. A negative COVID-19 test result and a doctor’s note documenting the alternative diagnosis should accompany a student or staff member returning to school with an alternative diagnosis after experiencing COVID-like symptoms.
  • Students and staff with COVID-like symptoms who do not get tested for COVID-19 and who do not provide a healthcare provider’s note documenting an alternative diagnosis, must complete 10 calendar days of isolation from the date of first symptom onset and be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms have improved before returning to school.
  • Students and staff who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 must complete 14 calendar days of isolation from the date of first symptom onset and be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms have improved before returning to school.

 

If a student is sent home sick with a fever or suspected COVID-19 symptoms, must all their siblings and/or carpool friends be sent home as well?

  • Yes. If the sick child is required to quarantine, then all who are in close contact would be required to do so, as well. Close contacts would include siblings, carpool friends, and anyone who has been within 6 feet of the sick child for 15 minutes or more.

 

How many symptoms does a person need to have to be considered suspect COVID-19?

  • The school will work with parents and staff members to determine if a symptom is new or if it is part of an existing condition. Anyone exhibiting one or more COVID-like symptom that is new or not related to an existing condition will be isolated in the school office and asked to be picked up for evaluation by a doctor and diagnostically tested.

 

If the sick person has a known condition causing the symptoms [e.g., allergies, migraine, etc…] can this be taken into consideration?

  • Every symptomatic person should be evaluated by their healthcare provider on a case-by-case basis and decisions to test for COVID-19 should be based on their personal health history. Diagnostic testing is strongly encouraged whenever an individual experiences COVID-like symptoms as it is possible to have COVID-19 and other health conditions at the same time.

 

What is contact tracing, who does it, and when is it necessary?

  • Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 and people who they came in contact with and working with them to interrupt disease spread. This includes asking people with COVID-19 to isolate and their contacts to quarantine at home voluntarily.
  • Contact tracing will be performed by the Kane County Public Health Department.
  • Contact tracing is performed for every confirmed case (determined by a positive test) or probable case [determined when a person has COVID-like symptoms and known exposure to a confirmed case].

 

Will parents be notified when there is a confirmed case in the school?

  • Yes. The school has a template provided by ISBE that will be emailed to each class in which there is a student who tested positive or was in close contact with someone who tested positive. [Close contact is being closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes, regardless if a mask was worn or not.] Confidentiality will be maintained, and names will not be given.

 

What is the definition of an outbreak in schools?

  • Two confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections occurring within 14 calendar days of each other in individuals in the same classroom would meet the case definition for an outbreak. This would prompt an investigation by the Kane County Health Department that may result in recommendations for testing and quarantining of all students/staff in the affected classroom.

 

Aside from a state mandate, at what point would the school need to close?

  • Decisions for temporary closure of a school will be made by Immanuel’s administration in consultation with the Kane County Health Department during its investigation of a case or cluster of cases. If the Kane County Health Department determines that there is a risk to the school community, then the school will be closed temporarily for cleaning and disinfection. This initial short-term dismissal allows time for the local health officials to gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation impacting the school. This also allows the local health officials to help the school determine appropriate next steps, including whether an extended dismissal duration is needed to stop or slow further spread of COVID-19.