Unit 5 families who are sending their child back to school in-person later this month should be prepared for them—and their siblings—to be sent home if they show even one symptom.
That’s one of the many changes that Unit 5 parents will experience when in-person learning resumes starting Oct. 19. Students (and their siblings) will be sent home if they show just one symptom, such as a fever, new cough, sore throat, or a lost sense of taste or smell, among others.
Those children will have to stay home until they produce a negative test or a doctor confirms an alternative diagnosis, said Susy Marcum, a nurse for two Unit 5 schools and curriculum chair for nurses across the district. She recently was named the 2020 School Nurse of the Year by the Illinois Association of School Nurses.
“This is not the school trying to be difficult. This is the school trying to follow the (Illinois Department of Public Health) guidelines to keep everyone safe,” Marcum said.
There are several testing options for COVID-19 in McLean County, including the Interstate Center in Bloomington. More pediatricians also ARE offering testing, Marcum said.
“Any symptom at all could be COVID. And you could have seasonal allergies and COVID. You could have strep throat and COVID,” she said.
Another change for Unit 5 families will be daily certification. They’ll be required to use an app called AppArmor to “certify” their child is symptom-free and hasn’t been exposed to a positive case.
Until in-person learning resumes, Marcum recommends parents use that time to talk to their kids about proper hand-washing, incrementally build up their tolerance for mask-wearing, and emphasize the reasons for 6-foot social distancing.
“Things are going to look different, and that’s important for parents to understand," she said.
Meanwhile, families in both Unit 5 and District 87 have until Oct. 15 to submit their immunization and physical exam documentation.
In Unit 5, immunizations and/or physicals are required for students who are new to Illinois in any of the mandated grades: early learning, kindergarten, sixth, ninth, and 12th. You can see a full list of requirements, by grade level, on Unit 5’s website.
The deadline for immunizations for the 2020-21 school year also was moved to Oct. 15 in District 87. You can learn more about those requirements on District 87’s website.
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