If you need to report a potential exposure or illness related to the coronavirus, call the Illinois Department of Public Health Hotline at 1-800-889-3931. You may also contact the Kane County Health Department to report a communicable disease at 630-208-3801.
This webpage is designed to serve as a resource for schools and school districts, as they work to prepare for, respond to, and minimize the impact of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). Feel free to share this information as you see fit and/or personalize it to meet the unique needs of your school/district.
It is broken down into sections to make it easier to find exactly what you are looking for. At this time, the Illinois State Board of Education is recommending that school districts follow the guidance of CDC and IDPH. Please remember that we are not doctors or lawyers, so school districts may still want to contact their own medical experts, legal counsel, and community resources as they make their preparations.
We encourage districts to be sure to keep their Boards of Education and parent communities up to date with their efforts to protect their students, staffs and communities from this disease.
When accessing these links, be sure to pay attention to the dates associated with these publications to assure you are accessing the most current information.
CDC Homepage for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
This is the Center for Disease Control’s main page for information regarding COVID-19. Just about everything you need to know can be accessed from this page.
IDPH - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
This is the Illinois Department of Public Health’s main page for information regarding COVID-19. It includes frequently asked questions and data regarding persons under investigation, as well as symptoms, transmission, prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
This interim guidance is intended to help administrators at both the school and district levels and childcare programs to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff. Be sure to continue to the bottom of the page for the section titled Guidance for schools with identified cases of COVID-19 in their community.
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19 (February 2020)
While we know how important it is to protect and take care of our kids, school districts need to remember that we are also the employers of a vast and diverse workforce. Supporting staff is also critical.
IDPH – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions
This page is just what it says: FAQs. If you have looked at the previous pages on this site, this one will probably be redundant. But there is an English and Spanish tab, and it is a good resource for the COVID-19 novice.
CDC Guidance for Healthcare Professionals
Remember that our school nurses are our most “local” healthcare professionals. This page may help them to better serve our students and staff.
Another resource from CDC, perhaps redundant if you have been reading all of these thoroughly, but like the FAQ page, it’s good for a novice.
On School Closings In the event of a coronavirus/COVID-19 related school closure, please have a school designee email the following to COVID19closure@isbe.net:
- The name of the school(s) that has closed; and for each school;
- Whether or not the school is utilizing e-learning;
- If the school is not utilizing e-learning, whether the school is providing other continuity of education;
- Whether the school is providing students with meals; and
- Whether the school has a set date to re-open, and if so, what date.
ISBE strongly recommends that schools consult with their local health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health prior to closing any schools due to COVID-19. Your cooperation in providing this information is greatly appreciated, as it will support Illinois’ cross-agency efforts to understand and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, the Illinois State Board of Education released its updated Education-Related Guidance for Illinois Schools and School Districts Regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 linked here. Among other things, it explains that decisions to close schools are local decisions to be made with guidance from IDPH. It also talks about emergency days, e-learning days, act of God days and offers guidance as it relates to travel, both students returning from other countries and school trips. ISBE’s School Health Issues – This is ISBE’s pages for all things related to school health issues. The top portion is currently dedicated to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates and Resources.
New AASA Publication on How to Respond to Coronavirus
Another resource compiled by AASA on the coronavirus that includes further links to health organizations, news articles and other resources for schools on how to respond to the coronavirus.
Guidance from AASA
Resources provided from the AASA on COVID-19.
Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource National Association of School Psychologists and National Association of School Nurses Germ Prevention Strategies American Academy of Pediatrics When to Keep Your Child Home American Academy of Pediatrics Frequently Asked Questions and Answers COVID-19 and Children Center for Disease Control (CDC) Training & Education Classroom lessons and activities, as well as learning tools and materials from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE This interactive map is actually pretty neat for science and social studies teachers, and even kids who are interested in learning more about the global spread of this disease. Why not make this a learning moment?
The documents shared below include templates and actual letters from local districts to their communities. The letters from districts are being shared here with the permission of the school districts. Feel free to use the language presented here as you develop your own communications. Thank you to those who have graciously shared their words and ideas!
- Districts 27, 28, 30, 31, 34 and 225 Community Collaboration: Health Update on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) 03/03/2020
- D203 Superintendent Paul Sally’s Letter to Families Regarding COVID-19 03/03/2020
- D211 COVID-19 Planning and e-learning email 03/02/2020
- D25 Update and Steps Taken To Address COVID-19 03/02/2020
- D25 Notice of Staff Exposure Community Letter 03/01/2020
- Media talking points from ISBE 2/28/2020
- Sample letter to families from ISBE 2/28/2020
- U-46 Food Pantry Locations
Click on links to download and print:
- CDC posters promoting hand washing, etcetera, appropriate for primary to high school
- CDC Printable Handwashing Fact Sheets
- Stay at Home If You Are Sick – for employers
- Don’t Spread Germs at Work – for employers
- CDC What You Need to Know About COVID-19
This is a fairly basic one page flier of information appropriate for copying and distribution.
- CDC Stop the Spread of Germs
This is a small poster appropriate for adults and middle to high school age kids.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has been releasing information regarding COVID-19 to the public via press releases. Several of the news releases are gathered here and posted chronologically by date (most current at the top of the list). We will continue to add links as they are released.
IDPH: Public Health Officials Announce First Coronavirus Disease Cases Outside Chicago and Cook County
IDPH: Public Health Officials Report Four Additional COVID-19 Cases in Illinois
IDPH: 6th PRESUMPTIVE POSITIVE CASE OF COVID-19
IDPH COVID-19 Returning International Students 3/2/2020
IDPH COVID-19 Case Release 3/2/2020
IDPH Coronavirus Case Release 2/29/2020
Information for Illinois K-12 Schools Regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus 02/19/2020
IDPH K12 Corona Virus FAQs 1/28/2020
This compilation of legal resources was shared by our friends at the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) as part of their Coronavirus Toolkit:
Wage and Hours FAQs: Franczek P.C. writes about how to properly pay employees in the event of a pandemic.
- Hodges Loizzi Eisenhammer Rodick & Kohn LLP
Guidance on The Coronavirus (“COVID-19”): Don’t Panic, Hope for the Best, but Prepare for the Worst: HLERK provides school leaders advice on how to respond if the coronavirus impacts your district.
- Kriha Boucek
Student Health Update: COVID-19 Situation Summary for Schools (update): Kriha Boucek has released guidance for school districts with a Q&A that might address some questions you may have.
- Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller, Ltd.
School Response to a Pandemic Disease such as Coronavirus: Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller, Ltd. writes about how schools should respond to a pandemic disease.