University of Illinois Urbana‑Champaign

IDPH Releases FAQ Addressing Recent Changes to School Guidance

Published: August 13, 2021 | Updated: October 18, 2021

Note: on January 4, 2022, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released a health alert K-12 schools. Updated IDPH/ISBE regulations and guidance documents will be released soon.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has updated its FAQ document (see below) to provide answers that build on the Centers for Disease Control’s revised Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools, which the state has adopted for all public and nonpublic schools that serve students in prekindergarten through grade 12.

For the latest updates, guidances, and metrics, visit IDPH's Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools webage.

In sum, changes to the guidance for the 2021–2022 school year include the following:

  • Promotion of vaccination as the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Additional emphasis on the importance of offering in-person learning, regardless of whether all of the prevention strategies can be implemented in a school.
  • Revised definition of close contacts to guide quarantine procedures.
  • Introduction of a Test to Stay alternative to quarantine.
  • Alignment with state Executive Order 2021-18 on required universal indoor masking in P-12 schools for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.