Governor’s New Executive Order Clarifies Exclusions and Remote Instruction Obligations
Sep 21, 2021
On Friday evening, September 17, 2021, Governor Pritzker issued an additional Executive Order relating specifically to student and school personnel COVID-19 exclusions and remote instruction obligations, which are effective immediately.
The Executive Order defines exclusion as “a school’s obligation to refuse admittance to the school premises, extracurricular events or any other events organized by the school, regardless of whether an isolation or quarantine order issued by a local health department has expired or has not been issued; exclusion from a school shall not be considered isolation or quarantine.” The Order obligates school districts to exclude students and school personnel in the following scenarios:
- A student or school staff member who is a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 must be excluded for a minimum of 10 days following the onset date of symptoms (when symptomatic) or the date of a positive test (if asymptomatic), unless otherwise directed by the District’s local health authority.
- A student or school staff member who is a close contact to a COVID-19 positive case must be excluded for a minimum of 14 days or as otherwise directed by the District’s local health authority, which may recommend options such as exclusion for 10 days or 7 days with a negative test result on day 6. As an alternative to exclusion, close contacts who are asymptomatic may be permitted to remain on school grounds (including at extracurricular events or other events organized by the school) if both the confirmed case or probable case of COVID-19 and the close contact were masked for the entire exposure period, and the close contact tests negative for COVID-19 on days 1, 3, 5, and 7 following the initial exposure.
- A student or school staff member who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 must be excluded from school grounds for a minimum of 10 days until they are fever free for 24 hours and until 48 hours after diarrhea or vomiting have ceased.
The Executive Order also makes clear that school districts must provide students falling into the above three exclusion groups remote instruction during the period of their exclusion. Therefore, in addition to providing COVID positive and close contacts remote instruction while they are excluded, school districts must also provide remote instruction to students who are excluded from school due to exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 until they receive a negative test or healthcare provider letter confirming such symptoms are not related to COVID-19.
The Governor’s new Executive Orders and guidance will be further discussed during Robbins Schwartz upcoming Virtual School Administrator’s Conference. The Executive Order can be found here: https://www.illinois.gov/government/executive-orders/executive-order.executive-order-number-24.2021.html