CDC Guidelines/Mandates Timeline
Beginning on Friday, June 11, Illinois entered Phase 5. Under these guidelines, capacity limits for both indoor and outdoor events were lifted while people who have been fully vaccinated were no longer required to wear masks in most environments.
From that moment on the Unit 7 Board Education and Superintendent were cautiously optimistic that guidance from the CDC, the IDPH, and ISBE would be forthcoming that would allow for more local control on decisions with masks and distancing based on our metrics as we enter the 21-22 school year.
On Friday, July 9, 2021 the CDC posted guidance. This guidance included the following two bullets:
- Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask wearing by people who are not fully vaccinated, to reduce transmission risk.
Further, the afternoon of Friday, July 9, State Superintendent Dr. Ayala sent out an email in which she stated masks were required for individuals who were not fully vaccinated. Her email was in conflict with the CDC guidance.
On Saturday, July 10, ISBE walked back her statement that mandated mask usage. ISBE indicated that it would follow the IDPH guidelines.
At this time, I ask that you please be patient as we work through the guidance and language being presented to us from various health entities that will follow in the coming weeks. There will very likely continue to be numerous changes up until the start of school.
Unit 7 will post a Return to School Plan prior to the start of school. This plan will highlight COVID mitigation strategies and rules to be implemented based off of guidelines/mandates provided by the CDC. Unit 7 is planning for full school days, 5 days a week.
Andrew Larson, Unit 7 Superintendent