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Posted on: October 1, 2021

New Covid-19 Mandated Protocols and Testing Update


Dear Parents and Guardians,

Our nurses and other staff members continue to provide a safe learning environment for our students as protocols and expectations change.  I want to take a moment to send you some new protocol information which will take effect on Monday, October 4th.  In addition, I will also give you an update on our testing plan in partnership with the University of Illinois.  

First please read the new protocol carefully.  The main change is if a student or staff member is symptomatic, they must test within 48 hours.  Failure to do so will result in a full 10-day exclusion from school.  Please read:

Macomb CUSD #185 COVID-19 Protocol

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education have issued new COVID-19 guidelines for schools to follow. The new protocol will take effect Monday, October 4th.

COVID-19- like symptoms: Fever (100.4°F or higher), moderate to severe headache, shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of sense of taste or smell, fatigue from unknown cause, muscle, or body aches from unknown cause.

Exclusion for symptoms:  Students or staff members (whether vaccinated or not) that are experiencing any of the COVID like symptoms must be tested within 48 hours of symptoms onset. If testing is not performed within 48 hours, the symptomatic individual and unvaccinated household members must remain out of school for 10 calendar days. Unvaccinated household members of the symptomatic individual can remain in school if the symptomatic individual is tested within 24 hours from onset of symptoms (unless there is high suspicion of COVID infection). Fully vaccinated household members can remain in school unless they are having symptoms. The symptomatic individual can return to school after a negative test AND improvement of symptoms AND fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication AND 48 hours after vomiting/diarrhea have ceased. At home tests are not accepted. The school must have a copy of the negative test result before the individual is allowed to return to school or ride a bus. For COVID like symptoms, doctor’s notes without COVID testing will not be accepted as clearance to return to school.

Positive test:  An individual that tests positive for Covid will be excluded from school for 10 days from symptom onset (or from test date if not having symptoms). They must also have been fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication, no vomiting or diarrhea for 48 hours, and their symptoms have improved. The individual must have a release letter from the health department or be cleared by the school nurse before they return to school.

Close contact to positive case:  An unvaccinated individual that is determined to be a close contact of someone that tested positive for COVID will be excluded from school for 14 days from their last exposure to the positive case unless directed otherwise by the health department. The individual must have a release letter from the health department or be cleared by the school nurse before they return to school.

Fully vaccinated individuals do not have to quarantine after exposure to a positive case if they are not having symptoms. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals test three to five days after close contact to a positive individual. They should monitor for symptoms for 14 days and stay home and get tested if symptoms develop.

*Fully vaccinated is two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose series (Pfizer, Moderna) or two weeks after a single dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). 


Testing Update:  I apologize testing has taken so long to implement.  We have been working with the University of Illinois daily, however they simply became overwhelmed with the number of institutions signing on for testing after the Governor's mandate from his Emergency Order took effect.  It is possible we could begin testing sometime next week, although we do not have a firm date as of the writing of this message.

Please note there is an Opt-Out form attached to this message.  The form must be filled out and the original with signature must be returned to your child's school to Opt-Out of testing.  We have received very few forms; however, a few parents did call or leave messages concerning testing.  Please know to opt-out we must have the form attached completed, returned and on file. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your patience and understanding during the past 18 months while we have navigated this trail together! I firmly believe, together we will get through it!

Have a GREAT Day!

Patrick M. TwomeyEd.D., Superintendent

Macomb School District 185

323 West Washington Street

Macomb, Illinois 61455


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