CDPH tracks and follows up on COVID-19 cases and concerns in schools and daycares. The COVID Youth Settings team can be reached at COVIDschools@cityofchicago.org or at (312) 746-6015. We operate 8a-5p and aim to respond to questions and inquiries as soon as possible.
Requirements for schools and daycares

Schools and daycares should review the guidance linked below. Generally, when there is a COVID case in a student or staff member, a facility will need to ensure that the positive individual stays home, identify close contacts, and quarantine close contacts. Schools and daycares also need to notify close contacts and conduct cleaning in specific areas.

If you are associated with a school or a daycare and need to report a COVID case in a staff or a student, please use this form and select “community congregate setting”: https://redcap.link/chiCOVIDreport.

Return to school/daycare

Schools and daycares should send home or deny entry to any student or staff if they have COVID-like symptoms. IDPH maintains an updated decision tree for this guidance (https://www.isbe.net/Documents/IDPH-COVID19-Exclusion-Decison-Tree.pdf). In brief:
  • We strongly recommend symptomatic individuals get tested. Clinicians should offer testing to children attending school or daycares if notified a child was exposed or has any symptoms suggestive of COVID. Symptomatic individuals can return to school or daycare with a negative diagnostic test.
    • The test must be a PCR or antigen test.
    • Medical notes excluding COVID without a test are not acceptable.
    • Symptomatic individuals who do not get tested must be excluded for at least ten calendar days from the start of their symptoms. They can then return after 10 days if they have not had a fever for 24 hours AND symptoms have improved.
  • A positive individual can return once it has been at least ten days from the onset of symptoms (or, if asymptomatic, first positive test) AND they have had no fever for 24 hours without use of medication AND symptoms have improved.
  • Close contacts of a confirmed or probable COVID case should quarantine and may not return to school or daycare until 14 days since the last date of contact with the positive individual have passed.
    • CDPH recommends that close contacts are tested 5-9 days after the last day of exposure to a positive individual.
    • At this time, CDPH DOES NOT RECOMMEND discontinuation of quarantine at 7 or 10 days in childcare or school settings.
    • If the close contact is an adult and can wear a mask and strictly maintain 6 feet of distance from all staff and students, the facility may permit an early return at 10 days. If any of these criteria cannot be met (such as a staff member in an infant room, who cannot maintain distance), the close contact must remain out for 14 days.
  • Schools and daycares should quarantine positive household members of a symptomatic student or staff pending the results of testing.
Vaccination information
  • Daycare, PK-12, and early education workers are eligible for vaccination in phase 1B. Please review CDPH’s vaccination page for options for vaccination.
  • There are currently no COVID-19 vaccines approved for children under 16.
  • If you are interested in becoming a vaccine provider, please review the HAN information here.
Guidance links

CDPH Interim Guidance on Management of COVID-19 Cases in Childcare Settings

CDPH Interim Guidance on Management of COVID-19 Cases in PreK-12 Schools https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/city/depts/cdph/HealthProtectionandResponse/COVID_GUIDANCE/Interim_Guidance_Management_COVID-19_Cases_PK-12_Schools_121020.pdf

CDPH Interim Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/city/sites/COVID/documents/Interim_Guidance_IHE_COVID-19_011421.pdf

IDPH School Guidance http://dph.illinois.gov/COVID19/community-guidance/school-guidance

IDPH Daycare Guidance http://dph.illinois.gov/COVID19/community-guidance/daycare-centers

IDPH Guidance for Child Face Coverings http://dph.illinois.gov/COVID19/community-guidance/child-face-coverings-schools

IDPH School FAQ https://www.isbe.net/Documents/IDPH-School-FAQs.pdf

IDPH County & School Metrics http://dph.illinois.gov/countyschool?county=Chicago

ISBE COVID-19 Exclusion Guidance https://www.isbe.net/Documents/IDPH-COVID19-Exclusion-Decison-Tree.pdf

CDC FAQ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools-faq.html

COVID-19 Reporting

Where To Submit Cases To CDPH: