• DPS COVID Protocols for the 2022-23 School Year

    Updated August 19, 2022

    The CDC and IL Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) recently updated recommendations when it comes to COVID prevention. After reviewing these updated recommendations, Decatur Public Schools is implementing the following COVID protocols in our schools and facilities:

    • Masks are still RECOMMENDED for all students, staff, parents, volunteers, visitors, and community members to wear when inside all DPS facilities. This includes during school hours, as well as during athletic events and extra-curricular activities held inside our facilities.
    • Masks are still recommended on school and public buses and when using district-provided transportation.
    • Students and staff who test positive for COVID will be asked to quarantine for a minimum of five (5) days, but may return to school and resume normal activities on day six (6) if they are symptom-free or have lessened symptoms with no fever. Those who return on day six (6) will be asked to wear a mask for days 6-10, per updated CDC and IDPH guidelines.

    DPS will no longer conduct contact tracing when someone is identified as a positive COVID case in our schools or other facilities, per updated CDC and IDPH guidelines. We also no longer require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test from staff, substitutes, or volunteers in our schools or other facilities.

    NOTE: These protocols may change at any time, if COVID numbers in our schools or our community rise. We will keep you informed of any changes.

    On-Site COVID Testing

    Testing Hours: Monday - Thursday, 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at DPS Student Services, enter at 300 E. Eldorado Street; call 217.362.3318 when you arrive to be let into the building for testing

    DPS offers two types of on-site COVID testing:

    • SHIELD Test: Conducted by collecting saliva (spit), results available within 24-48 hours
    • Rapid Test: Conducted by doing a nasal swab, results available within 15 minutes

    Upon arrival at the testing site, parents/guardians and/or staff will be asked to sign a consent form (see links below, these forms will also be available at the testing site) and select how often they want to be tested by choosing one or more of the following options:

    • Weekly Testing: Student/staff will be tested on average one (1) time per week, regardless of if they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Weekly testing is used to monitor the potential spread of COVID-19 within our school community.
    • Test to Stay: It is recommended that students and staff who are identified as close contacts but have no symptoms submit to TWO (2) tests between day two (2) and day seven (7) after the close contact, with results being negative each time.
    • Student or staff with symptoms: Students or staff who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, vomiting and diarrhea) can be tested for COVID-19 using a rapid test and/or SHIELD (spit) test. 

    For students to be tested, the parent/guardian who is listed as the parent of record in Skyward must be present with the student for their first test to sign the consent form. Thereafter, the student may be accompanied by another parent/guardian when getting tested. 
    SHIELD TESTING NOTE: Students and staff should not eat, drink, or put anything in their mouth one hour prior to taking the SHIELD test. This includes drinking, chewing gum, using mouth wash, etc. Substances put in the mouth may interfere with the test and cause the sample to be invalid or rejected.
    DPS Parent/Guardian Consent Form
    DPS Staff Consent Form