What Happens if There is an Outbreak?

  • During the school year, parents may hear about COVID-19 "outbreaks" in classrooms - either because their own student is in such a classroom, or because they learn about outbreaks in other classrooms or schools. Here's a run-down on outbreaks - and how the District handles them.

    What is an “outbreak”?
    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) define a school-related outbreak (as of October 15, 2021) as:

    1. Multiple cases comprising at least 10 percent of students, teachers, or staff within a specified core group (e.g., extracurricular activity, cohort group, classroom, before/after school care, etc.) or
    2. At least three cases within a specified core group meeting criteria for a probable or confirmed school-associated COVID-19 case with symptom onset or positive test results within 14 days of each other; who were not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting (i.e., household) outside of the school setting; and that are epidemiologically linked in the school setting or a school-sanctioned extracurricular activity. 

    What are “close contacts”?
    The CDC defines close contact as spending a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period within six feet of an infected person. However, as of August 2022 close contacts who do not exhibit symptoms - regardless of vaccination status - will not be excluded from school.

    What happens when there is an outbreak in my child’s school?
    Once the District has identified an outbreak, it is required to inform CCDPH, which assesses the situation and makes a recommendation regarding next steps.

    How will I know if my child is impacted?
    If your child is in a classroom that has experienced an outbreak, you will be contacted by the school. Please note that due to medical privacy laws, we will not be identifying any COVID-positive individuals - or specific classrooms. 

    Other information to know:

    • You should closely monitor your child for symptoms. 
    • If at any time, your child develops any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, they will need to stay home and parents/guardians should contact the school. 
    • As always, everyone should monitor their health and stay at home if they develop symptoms.