By: Brittany Flaherty Theis
In an FAQ dated July 26, 2021, the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) and the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) answered questions related to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (“CDC”) Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools, released July 9, 2021.
Yesterday, July 27, 2021, just one day after the release of those FAQs, the CDC updated its recommendations, as follows:
“UPDATE Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.”
That same day, IDPH issued a statement adopting the CDC’s recommendation, which included the following:
“The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today it is fully adopting updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) masking recommendations to protect against COVID-19 and the Delta variant. CDC recommends that everyone, including fully vaccinated individuals, wear a mask in public indoor setting in areas with substantial and high transmission. CDC is also recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.”
IDPH indicated that it will be updating the FAQ for schools to reflect these latest CDC recommendations.
The Governor has confirmed receipt of the revised recommendations and indicated his office is reviewing them. No formal action was taken or statement was released by his office.
Many school districts throughout the State have already been working closely with legal counsel to prepare for the 2021-2022 school year. Whitt Law recommends school district administrators contact their attorneys to discuss the new recommendations within the context of each school district’s specific circumstances to formulate a plan for moving forward. Please contact Whitt Law Senior Attorney Brittany Flaherty Theis with questions regarding this update or any of the Whitt Law attorneys for legal counsel to prepare for the upcoming school year.