Gov. Pritzker adjusts COVID-19 requirement to address current needs

(MGN Online)
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 4:38 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(25 News Now) - Changes are coming to COVID-19 testing requirements for school and childcare workers.

Governor JB Pritzker says the requirement that unvaccinated employees in the above areas test twice weekly is being rescinded.

This change takes place Friday, September 16, and is in line with the advice of medical experts and CDC guidance, according to a release.

“Vaccination continues to be the most effective tool we have against COVID-19, and I’m proud that millions of Illinoisans have taken advantage of these life-saving vaccines – they have given us the ability to adjust these requirements,” Pritzker said. “I continue to urge everyone in the state to stay up to date on vaccines and boosters, including getting the recently released bivalent booster shot.”

The CDC no longer requires routine testing in schools or childcare settings regardless of the vaccination status of the staff member. However, they continue to recommend schools and other congregate educational settings consider instituting testing at times of high risk in the community, such as upon return from breaks or after large indoor events. Illinois schools and childcare centers are urged to consider these suggestions when planning testing and prevention strategies.

Free and accessible testing options are widely available to school staff. IDPH made 1 million free rapid tests available to schools earlier this year. 160 school districts have opted into the SHIELD testing program, performing regular surveillance testing for schools at no cost to the district. Almost 50,000 tests have been performed by SHIELD since the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.