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SHIELD Illinois Testing or Vaccine Required for Middle & High School Extracurricular Activities

RPS 205 families and staff,

Thank you for your help prioritizing students’ health and safety. Adjusting to school and getting back to normal during the pandemic has been difficult for all of us. Our students, staff and families have continued to follow the guidelines from the Winnebago County Health Department and Illinois Department of Public Health, and it is appreciated.  

With a goal to keep our students healthy, minimize interruptions, and stop the spread of COVID-19, we are requiring all middle and high school students who participate in extracurricular activities to:

Take advantage of the free COVID-19 vaccine; or 
Participate in weekly COVID-19 testing though SHIELD Illinois. 

Starting Monday, Nov. 15, all middle and high school students who participate in extracurricular activities must participate in weekly COVID-19 testing at their school if they have not received the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes athletics, clubs, fine arts, and before and after-school activities. 

Why the SHIELD test? Students on teams or clubs and in student groups spend time together outside of the regular school day, and we want to make sure it’s safe. Practices, games and activities will move indoors as the weather gets colder. That also means the risk is higher for transmission, and there is a higher risk of cancellations, quarantine and missed opportunities and experiences for students.
A positive SHIELD Illinois test can identify COVID-19 ahead of symptoms and earlier than other tests, including rapid tests. That means a student could test positive – and isolate away from their classmates – before they are contagious and spread the virus.

 

How SHIELD Illinois Works: 

Once each week, students will be asked to drool into a small plastic tube. The test looks for three genes of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or COVID-19. 

Students will take the PCR test at school instead of visiting a doctor’s office, immediate care facility or pharmacy. Results are typically available 12-48 hours after the test. 

We expect each student’s test will only take a few minutes. Follow the schedule below for  school-based SHIELD testing: 

  • Monday: Auburn
  • Tuesday: East, Lincoln, RESA
  • Wednesday: Guilford, Jefferson, Marshall MS
  • Thursday: Barbour, Kennedy, Roosevelt
  • Friday: Eisenhower, Flinn, West

 

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