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Weekly COVID-19 Testing with Shield Illinois

August 26, 2021

Dear District 31 Parents,


We are pleased to announce that we will be kicking off weekly Covid-19 testing with Shield Illinois next Tuesday (although we are awaiting for a final confirmation email) for all of our students. For the last several weeks we have been sending you information regarding the testing program. You can review that information here.  Below are a couple of updates as we kick off testing.

According to an update we just received from Shield Illinois, if your child is vaccinated, they are NO longer eligible for weekly Shield Testing unless they are symptomatic. If you have not submitted their vaccine card to Field nurse Tania Gastelum, please do so ASAP. We do not want to include them in testing if they have been vaccinated.

We encourage all of our unvaccinated students to participate in Shield Illinois testing. However, if you would prefer they opt out, please complete the opt out form and turn it into the school office. You can find the opt out form here. Please note, that according to weekly guidance from the IDPH/CCDPH, if a child opts out of the school offered weekly COVID-19 testing program, they will not be eligible for the Test-to-Stay program for school based close contacts and will be required to quarantine at home for 7-10 days instead. You can read more about test-to-stay here (page 11). 

Visit Healthcare will be conducting the testing for District 31 students. It is scheduled for every Tuesday (although we are awaiting the official confirmation). Since students cannot eat or drink for one hour before the tests, the schedule has been coordinated to not interfere with breakfast or lunch. We anticipate the first couple of days to take longer than normal as students learn how to do the testing so specific times are not available at this time.  Winkelman -  PreK-5th - Tuesdays - 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Each class will be called down for the testing.   Field - 6-8 - UNVACCINATED STUDENTS ONLY - Tuesdays - 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Each class will be called down for testing. (NOTE:  6th grade students will continue to test on Tuesdays and Thursdays for three more weeks)

We are currently working with Shield Illinois to distribute information on how to access the parent portal so you can view and print test results. However, District 31 will get the results 12-24 hours after the tests have been administered. If your child tests positive, District 31 will call you. If you do not hear from us, assume that no news is good news!

One way that you can help us is to prepare your child. The Shield Illinois test is a saliva test where students drool or spit into a small vial with a funnel on top. Here is a brief video that you can watch with your child. There will be staff members available to help your child during testing.

We appreciate your partnership as we work to keep all students and staff safe and schools open during this time.

Sincerely,

Dr.  Erin K. Murphy

Superintendent