On March 9, 2020, Governor Pritzker declared all counties in Illinois a disaster area in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 29, 2020, the Governor announced Restore Illinois, a comprehensive phased plan to safely reopen the State’s economy, get people back to work, and ease social restrictions. Illinois has now entered the Bridge to Phase V of Restore Illinois. On May 17, 2021, Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2021-10, directing day care facilities to follow the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) guidance regarding day cares. Day care facilities include all licensed day care centers, day care homes, group day care homes and license-exempt facilities.
Considerations for Reopening Schools
As noted by the CDC, schools are an essential part of the infrastructure of communities, as they provide safe, supportive learning environments for students, employ teachers and other staff, and enable parents, guardians, and caregivers to go to work. Schools also provide critical services that help to mitigate health disparities, such as school meal programs, social, physical, behavioral, and mental health services. In order to safely operate schools, CDC has issued mitigation strategies that K-12 school administrators along with state and local public health officials can use to help protect students, teachers, and staff and slow the spread of COVID-19. The following precautions are recommended by public health officials to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of students, teachers, staff, their families, and communities: