IL Gov. Pritzker announces guidelines for educational facilities reopening in fall

6/23 News of the Day

ILLINOIS (WFIE) - Governor JB Pritzker gave a coronavirus briefing Tuesday.

His team says coronavirus cases have been declining for five consecutive weeks. Fatalities have also been declining.

Gov. Pritzker announces 601 new cases, bringing the total to 137,825 cases.

He states there are 38 additional deaths, bringing the total in the state to 6,707 deaths.

Governor Pritzker announces guidelines that will allow K-12 schools, community colleges and higher education institutions to safely resume in-person classes. To help schools meet these guidelines, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will provide public K-12 districts with 2.5 million cloth face masks.

“Classroom learning provides necessary opportunities for our students to learn, socialize, and grow. The benefits of in-person instruction can’t be overstated,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Today ISBE, IBHE, and ICCB are issuing guidance that will serve as baseline public health requirements and expectations for the return of in-person learning this fall in P-12 schools and higher education, including all public school districts, non-public schools, colleges and universities.”

“Nothing compares to face-to-face interactions between students and their teachers,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “The dedication of Illinoisans to social distancing over the past several months has allowed us to plan to bring students back to classrooms this fall while keeping health and safety our number one priority. This fall will not be ‘business as usual’ in more ways than one. Our students will return to us transformed and hungry for knowledge that contextualizes current events. I urge schools to use summer to readjust curricula to honor these historic times and to continue to be diligent in following safety protocols.”

The IDPH requirements for schools to reopen in Phase 4 are:

  • Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment, including face coverings;
  • Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
  • Require social distancing whenever possible;
  • Conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require self-certification that individuals entering school buildings are symptom free; and
  • Increase schoolwide cleaning and disinfection.

Guidance for Illinois’ community colleges takes into consideration where each institution is located and is separated into three main categories: General Health and Safety, Instructional Guidelines, and Student Services. Among the key recommendations are:

  • In-person education will require face coverings to be worn by faculty, staff and students.
  • Community colleges should conduct health screenings on employees, students and visitors before each campus visit.
  • Community colleges should take additional measures to ensure social distancing and safety as determined by the features of spaces, learning methods, and other factors.
  • Each community college should consider the needs of vulnerable staff or students when administering guidelines.

As each region across the state prepares to enter Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, Illinois community colleges are committed to welcoming students back to campus in the fall of 2020.

Monday, Gov. Pritzker announced a plan for Phase 4 reopening this Friday.

As of Tuesday, the state is reporting 137,224 total confirmed positive cases and 6,671 deaths.

[Illinois coronavirus website]

Here are the current COVID-19 numbers in our part of Illinois:

White: 3 cases

Wayne: 11 cases, 1 death

Wabash: 22 cases

Edwards: 2 cases

Copyright 2020 WFIE. All rights reserved.