January COVID Update
RPS 205 families and staff,
Our Health Services and administrative team are monitoring our region’s positive COVID-19 rate and cases within our schools.
At this time, we have no plans to shut down districtwide. It is possible that a school could temporarily switch to remote instruction. If that happens in your student’s school, your principal will notify families and send home electronic devices – Chromebooks and iPads – with K-12 students. If needed, your school will send home learning expectations, any needed learning materials, and a schedule for students to follow.
We are encouraging all families to take students to be tested for COVID-19 because of the rising COVID-19 positivity rate in our region and our schools. This variant is highly contagious, so we anticipate many students are positive with either mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Students who test now – and test positive – will isolate for five days. But they will likely have 90 days of immunity from COVID-19 and not be quarantined again during that time period.
Students can take a saliva-based PCR rapid test in school through SHIELD Illinois instead of visiting a doctor’s office, immediate care facility or pharmacy. A SHIELD test can identify COVID-19 ahead of symptoms and earlier than other tests. A student could test positive – and isolate away from their classmates – before they are contagious and spread the virus. Learn more about SHIELD Illinois: uillinois.edu/shield
Free COVID-19 tests are available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the following RPS 205 sites:
Monday: Auburn High School
Tuesday: East High School, Lincoln Middle School, RESA Middle School
Wednesday: Guilford High School, Jefferson High School, Thurgood Marshall School
Thursday: Two-Way Language Immersion at Barbour, Kennedy Middle School, Roosevelt Community Education Center
Friday: Eisenhower Middle School, Flinn Middle School, West Middle School
COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines
Students and staff will continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines from the Winnebago County Health Department and Illinois State Board of Education. The Illinois State Board of Education is expected to update their quarantine and isolation guidance to five days.
Your school nurse or a member of the health services team will share specific information for your student.
Items to note:
- Contact tracing: We are focusing our contact tracing efforts on high-risk students, lunch table mates and desk mates, transportation, and athletics where masking is more difficult. Parents/guardians will be notified if their child is identified as a close contact. When it’s appropriate and available, close contacts will be offered frequent rapid testing through test-to-stay protocol.
- Any staff member or student with COVID-19 symptoms should not come to school or work: Fever (100.4°F or higher), new onset of moderate-to-severe headache, shortness of breath, new cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of sense of taste or smell, fatigue from unknown cause, muscle or body aches from unknown cause.
- Vaccinated staff and students: At this time, fully vaccinated students and staff who do not have any COVID-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine or miss school or extracurricular activities. Please test three-to-five days after a close contact exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Our nursing team and the Winnebago County Health Department are stressing the importance of wearing masks in our schools, and wearing them appropriately, completely covering the nose and mouth.
Visit wchd.org/covid-19 to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot with the Winnebago County Health Department. Students can receive up to $100 in gift cards from RPS 205 for receiving the vaccine. To show proof of vaccination and receive a gift card, contact your school’s main office staff for details.