DAILY JOURNAL STAFF REPORT
The Kankakee County Department of Health advises local schools to follow recent back-to-school guidelines issued by the CDC and supported by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Board of Education. ‘State of Illinois.
Schools should continue their COVID-19 mitigation efforts, including indoor masking, although masking may be optional for those who provide proof that they are fully vaccinated.
The KCHD also clarifies that fully vaccinated people are not required to self-quarantine if exposed to a positive case of COVID-19.
“If you can, please get vaccinated,” the statement said, noting that vaccines are now widely available for people 12 years of age and older.
CDC guidelines include:
• Masks should be worn indoors by all persons (2 years of age and older) who are not fully immunized.
• The CDC recommends that schools maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet between students in classrooms, combined with the wearing of masks indoors by people who are not fully immunized, to reduce the risk of transmission.
• When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully reopen while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer several other prevention strategies, such as masking inside.
• Screening tests, ventilation, hand washing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning up and disinfection are also important levels of prevention in keeping schools safe.
• Many schools cater for children under 12 who are not currently eligible for vaccination. Therefore, this guide emphasizes the implementation of prevention strategies at several levels (masking, distancing, testing) to protect people who are not fully vaccinated.