Schools take COVID safety measures ahead of travel

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Many schools are getting ready for spring break – and some districts are taking precautionary measures against the coronavirus.

COVID cases and hospitalization numbers are dropping across the United States, but there’s a concern that trend could change as more people take trips and travel during spring break.

Academy High School is beginning to relax COVID measures, like social distancing, but students will still need to get tested twice after returning from spring break.

The head of Academy High said 98% of students are fully vaccinated. And that the school has followed the guidance of the Public Health District closely.

They plan to halt their weekly testing requirement soon, but that won’t happen for two weeks after students come back from break.

He said safety has always come first, and the school had no cases of COVID among students until the Delta variant hit.

“We had no cases and we were, I think, of all the schools in the area – because of our size – we had the most robust on-campus learning program. So, better safe than sorry, right?” John Carpenter said.

He said the mask requirement will most likely remain in place through the end of the year. But hopefully, when kids are back in school in August, masks will be a thing of the past. And, the school will continue to make decisions based on the latest guidance of CUPHD.

“My sense is that we will continue to accommodate the new normal,” Carpenter said.

Decatur Public Schools has announced they are strongly encouraging on-site testing for students and faculty after spring break.

They’re offering two types of testing: the SHIELD test – which is conducted by collecting saliva – and results are given within 24 to 48 hours, and the rapid test, which is a nasal swab. You would get those results in about 15 minutes.

When arriving to the testing site – staff members or parents of students will be asked which test they would like to take.

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