• Close Contact
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) define a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

    There is an exception to this rule that applies to students in an indoor K-12 classroom setting. In this case, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. Please note that this exception does not apply to teachers, staff or other adults in this setting. 

    If either the case or contact was not consistently masked, then close contacts include students in a classroom setting who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Students exposed at less than 3 feet are close contacts regardless of masking.

    For individuals on school transportation, IDPH and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) say that contacts who are within 3 to 6 feet of an infected person do not require exclusion as long as both the case and the contact were consistently and correctly masked during the entire exposure period and windows were opened or HEPA filters were in use. With that said, both agencies state that these individuals may benefit from participating in a Test-to-Stay program. 

    Students ages 5 to 17 who have not completed the primary series of the vaccine are close contacts who should quarantine or be excluded from school if exposed to a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. Individuals (age 18 and older if eligible) who have received primary doses of the vaccine, but have not received recommended booster doses, are close contacts who should be excluded from school if exposed to a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19.

    In general, individuals who are solely exposed to a confirmed case while outdoors should not be considered close contacts. Schools may coordinate with their local health department to determine the necessity of exclusion for higher-risk outdoor exposures. The longer a person is exposed to an infected person, the higher the risk of exposure/transmission.

    The infectious period of close contact begins two calendar days before the onset of symptoms (for a symptomatic person) or two calendar days before the positive sample was obtained (for an asymptomatic person). If the case was symptomatic (e.g., coughing, sneezing, etc.), people with briefer periods of exposure may also be considered contacts, as determined by the local health department. People who have had a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 90 days or are fully vaccinated are not considered close contacts and do not need to be excluded from school unless they exhibit COVID-like symptoms.


  • Quarantine and Isolation
    Per the CDC and IDPH, “local health departments are the final authority with regard to quarantine recommendations.” DCHD has adopted the updated guidance for quarantine and isolation that has been issued by health agencies at the state and national level. Below is a summary of the changes. 

    Quarantine and Isolation

    • School personnel who test positive for COVID-19 should immediately isolate at home. Schools must exclude school personnel who are a confirmed or probable case for five days after the first day of symptoms or the date of a positive viral test for people who are asymptomatic.

    • Individuals may return to school after five days if they are asymptomatic or if their symptoms are resolving. However, they must wear a mask at all times around others for five more days.

    • Students and parents/guardians must sign a District 86 Quarantined and Release Form when returning on day 6.

    • Students may resume all activities as long as they remain asymptomatic and wear a mask at all times around others for 10 days from exposure. This includes dining periods, extracurricular activities and riding the bus. They should avoid all activities where masks cannot be worn when around others, including competitions and performances, until the 10 days from exposure has passed. Physical distancing (6 feet) should be used when masks are removed for eating.

    Vaccination Status

    • If a fully vaccinated or boosted person develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should be tested, isolated and excluded from school. 

    • If a fully vaccinated or boosted student or staff member has close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they should be tested at least five days after the exposure. However, they are not required to be excluded as long as they remain asymptomatic, are negative if tested, and have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including boosters (if people are 18 or older).

    People Experiencing COVID-like Symptoms

    • All students and staff (regardless of vaccination status) who are excluded due to having COVID-like symptoms should be diagnostically tested using a PCR test or a rapid antigen or molecular test that has been given emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. Rapid antigen tests are acceptable for individuals who are symptomatic.

    • Schools must exclude any student or staff member who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 until they test negative for the virus (home testing is not acceptable). If they choose not to get tested, they should be excluded for a minimum of five days. In order to return, they must be fever free for 24 hours with improving symptoms, including no diarrhea or vomiting for at least 24 hours, and able to wear a mask through day 10 at all times. 

    People with Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

    • Students and staff who are confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 must be excluded from school and may not return until they are asymptomatic or their symptoms have improved (i.e., fever free without fever reducing medication, diarrhea/vomiting ceased for 24 hours, etc.), and at least five calendar days have passed from the date of specimen collection of the positive test (Day 0) if asymptomatic, following the onset of symptoms if symptomatic (Day 0) or as otherwise directed by the local health department. Masks must consistently be worn through day 10.

    • Individuals who meet the above criteria may return to school, even if other household members are in isolation or quarantine, as long as they wear a mask consistently through day 10.

    Situations Involving Members of the Same Household

    Adaptive Pauses

    • Adaptive pauses featuring remote learning may not be employed due to staffing shortages in schools.
    • Schools taking an adaptive pause should pause from all activities, including extracurricular activities.

    District 86 students who need to quarantine will receive assistance and support from the Student Success Center as they would for any other short-term absence. However, no classroom instruction will be conducted via Zoom for these individuals.