The Oak Park Public Health Department has released new COVID-19 safety guidance for schools, citing an uptick in cases, particularly among school-aged children. The health department reported May 11 that 437 Oak Park residents tested positive the previous week. Four weeks ago, 102 cases were reported. Those numbers do not reflect those who tested positive using at-home testing kits and did not get a confirmatory test at an official testing site.

New school guidance states schools should immediately begin contact tracing after receiving notification of a positive case to alert everyone who may have come into contact with the infected individual within 24 hours. It is recommended that all close contacts in schools participate in COVID-19 SHEILD testing, a screening program that utilizes saliva-based COVID-19 tests.

Those who test positive are urged to isolate for a minimum of five days. Upon reentering society, those individuals are instructed to wear a high-quality protective mask for 10 days post-infection.  

The health department also recommends people take a rapid antigen test before ending their five-day isolation as some individuals remain contagious after that period has ended.

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