IDPH, CCDPH and CDC Guidelines for Schools, Fall 2020

    This “decision-tree” guides schools in deciding how to respond to symptomatic Individuals in schools and day care programs. It offers “return to school” guidance as well as whether or not “close contacts” need to quarantine. The 10/13/2020 updates are highlighted in red.

    This guidance addresses what schools should do when someone on site tests positive, becomes sick on site, or is waiting for the results of a test. It also offers guidance regarding the procedures for addressing close contacts. A link to IDPH's When to Quarantine webpage is included, as is a link to IDPH's Discontinuation of Isolation webpage. NOTE: At the bottom of pg 4 is a section titled Procedures for Temporary Closure and Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection when a Confirmed or Possible Case of COVID-19 is Identified in a School/Day Care. There is a reference to the local health department (LHD) determining a school or day care closure. It is well worth the read.

    IDPH's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Schools (09/9/20)
    The following changes have been made to the 8/20/2020 version: #15. Family members of someone who is quarantining, because they were a close contact to a positive or suspected case, do NOT need to quarantine unless that close contact or one of their family members develops symptoms; #28. Napping children can remove their face covering; #30. More guidance regarding napping children; #38. The utilization of clear face coverings; and #47. The CDC updated its travel restrictions.

    IDPH’s Adaptive Pause and Metrics: Interim School Guidance for Local Health Departments (08/17/20)
    Even though it says it for “Local Health Departments” school districts officials will find this guidance and the links contained within very useful! This document lays out the metrics a school district could use and should consider when making the decision to choose or switch between all remote learning, hybrid/blended learning and in-person learning.

    Northern Illinois Return to School Metrics, drafted by the Northern Illinois Public Health Consortium, which Cook County Department of Public Health is a partner. (08/14/20)
    This document is solely focused on return to school metrics as opposed to the one listed above, and the format that might be friendlier for the reader. The consortium consists of the health departments from the following cities, villages and counties: Chicago, Evanston, Skokie, Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will and Winnebago.

    IDPH's Criteria for Return to School for Non-COVID Diseases
    This chart lists the following for many common, and some not-so-common, "non-COVID" diseases: Mode of Transmission, Symptoms, Incubation Period, Period of Communicability, Criteria for Exclusion from School, Reporting Requirement, and Prevention & Control Measures. This chart will help a school district to know when a child with a non-COVID disease is ready to return to school.

    IDPH Interim COVID-19 Music Guidance for Schools
    This guidance addresses school band, choir, orchestra and general music programs including strategies that apply from elementary through high school. These recommendations are based on the latest results and science around current aerosol studies and represent best practices for preventing COVID-19 transmission among faculty, students, and staff engaged in music.

    IDPH’s Procedures for Students, Faculty and Support Staff who Test Positive (08/17/20)
    Technically the document is titled
    Public Health Interim Guidance for Pre-K-12 Schools and Day Care Programs for Addressing COVID-19 and subtitled as we have listed it above, but the focus is what to do when students or staff test positive. Among the most important things to do when someone tests positive is to notify your local health department immediately. For Cook County the number for schools to report a positive case is (708) 836-8699. This document lists the information that the person reporting will be asked to share.

    Cook County Department of Public Health- School Health
    The Cook County Department of Public Health has put together this web page specifically for school districts. Upon opening it shares the phone number to the Communicable Disease Hotline, (708) 836-8699, which is who you should contact if your school/district has a confirmed COVID case. General questions should go to the COVID-19 hotline at (708) 633-3319 or you can email questions to

    Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) School Reopening FAQ (08/12/20)
    The CCDPH posted this FAQ based upon the questions that suburban Cook County Districts submitted to them. Many of CCDPH’s answers refer the reader back to the
    ISBE Part 3 Transition Guidance FAQ or ISBE's/IDPH's Part 3 Transition Joint Guidance. Good news if you are a fan of consistency, not so good if the reader was hoping for more detail or depth of information.

    IDPH, CCDPH and CDC Helpful Websites: