School Health Guidance


This page contains links to updated COVID-19 school health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Governor's Office, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH).


Revised Public Health Guidance for Schools


On Jan. 11, 2022, ISBE and IDPH issued revised public health guidance for schools. The guidance incorporated updates regarding quarantine and isolation recommendations as issued Jan. 4, 2022, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC clarified that these recommendations apply to K-12 schools and released school-specific guidance on Jan. 6, 2022.


Vaccination Requirements for School Personnel


Gov. Pritzker's Executive Order 2021-20 (issued Aug. 26, 2021) specified vaccination requirements for all PK-12 school personnel:


Indoor Mask Mandate for PK-12 Schools


Gov. Pritzker's Executive Order 2021-18 (issued Aug. 4, 2021) required masks in all PK-12 schools while indoors, including athletics and extracurriculars:


Archive of Guidance Updates Since July 2021


ISBE/IDPH Revised Guidance for Schools

Updated Jan. 11, 2022

ISBE and IDPH published an updated version of "Revised Public Health Guidance for School" with updates regarding recommendations for shorter isolation and quarantine periods of five days:


ISBE/IDPH Revised Guidance for Schools

Updated Sept. 21, 2021

ISBE and IDPH published an updated version of "Revised Public Health Guidance for Schools: Part 5 — Supporting the Full Return to In-Person Learning of For All Students":


IDPH/ISBE Public Health Guidance FAQs

Updated Sept. 21, 2021

IDPH and ISBE updated their COVID-19 School Guidance FAQs as of Sept. 21, 2021:


Illinois Executive Order 2021-20

Issued Aug. 26, 2021

Gov. Pritzker issued vaccination requirements for all PK-12 school personnel.


ISBE Enforcement of Indoor Mask Mandate

Published Aug. 11, 2021

State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala informed superintendents that ISBE will enforce Gov. Pritzker's universal indoor masking requirement without exception:

"(N)oncompliance is not an option. I will not compromise the health and safety of students or staff, nor will I risk even one child’s life. Local boards of education, schools, and school districts do not have the authority to deny the Governor’s Executive Order requiring universal indoor masking in schools. I strongly recommend that each district consult with its legal counsel and insurer to fully understand the repercussions."


ISBE/IDPH Revised Guidance for Schools

Published Aug. 9, 2021

ISBE and IDPH published "Revised Public Health Guidance for Schools: Part 5 — Supporting the Full Return to In-Person Learning of For All Students":


IDPH/ISBE Public Health Guidance FAQs

Updated Aug. 9, 2021

IDPH and ISBE updated their Public Health Guidance FAQs to reflect revised CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools and Illinois Executive Order 2021-18:


CDC Guidance for K-12

Updated Aug. 5, 2021

CDC updated its Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools:


Illinois Executive Order 2021-18

Issued Aug. 4, 2021

Governor Pritzker required masks in all PK-12 schools while indoors, including athletics and extracurriculars:


CCDPH Guidance for Suburban School Districts

Issued July 28, 2021

CCDPH updated its Public Health Guidance for Suburban Cook County School Districts, including vaccination, mask use and physical distancing:


IDPH Mask Guidance

Updated July 27, 2021

IDPH announced that Illinois fully aligns with new CDC masking recommendations:


CDC Mask Guidance

Updated July 27, 2021

CDC updated its mask guidance, recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status: