January 12, 2022

Dear Barrington 220 Community:

Last Friday, I communicated that there was a change in guidance from the CDC regarding the length of quarantine for students and staff, and referenced forthcoming guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Last night this guidance was released, as well as this FAQ which provides additional clarity. 

District leaders have been reviewing this information, along with superintendents from other Lake County school districts and representatives from the Lake County Health Department. Our staff will work to implement necessary changes and continue to provide in-person learning. Although not a comprehensive list, below are a few important items that are being implemented:

  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID will be required to isolate for at least 5 days following the start of symptoms or test date if asymptomatic. 

  • Individuals who are identified as a close contact will be required to quarantine for 5 days following the last date of exposure. See page 20 & 21 of the ISBE Guidance to review the definition of a close contact. 

  • Students/staff members who are identified as close contacts, but who do not meet criteria for being exempt from quarantine (outlined in #48 in the FAQ) may have the option to engage in a test-to-stay protocol.

  • Students who were exposed during lunch may now be eligible for test-to-stay. Impacted families will receive information on requirements for remaining in school during the contact tracing process.

  • Windows for return to athletics and extracurricular activities are different, and longer than the isolation/quarantine windows required for return to work or school; asymptomatic students who are in isolation or quarantine may return to practice/rehearsals following Day 5, but must remain masked through Day 10 and may not participate in competitions/performances until a 10 day window is completed.

  • Home tests are not accepted as proof of infection. All students and staff (regardless of vaccination status) excluded with COVID-19-like symptoms should be diagnostically tested with a PCR or rapid antigen or molecular test with emergency use authorization by the FDA. See #43 in the FAQ for more information. 

In addition to this updated guidance, I wanted to make you aware that this morning the district was notified of a change in rostering of students that recently opted in to SHIELD testing. This has impacted students being tested this week. We are currently working on this and anticipate it will be resolved for next week’s testing schedule. If you would like to make changes regarding your child’s SHIELD testing status, please note that it may take up to seven days for those changes to go into effect. 

I want to thank our entire staff as they have all stepped forward to manage changes and work to keep students at school. I appreciate your ongoing support.