Wearing a mask can protect you from germs — and help make sure you aren’t spreading germs to your teachers or fellow students. Just like when you sneeze or cough into your elbow, wearing a mask helps you keep your germs to yourself, showing that you care about others.
Masks are required in Illinois, which means you must wear a face covering in school (except when eating or in band) and on the school bus. Face coverings are not required outside if everyone is six feet apart. To wear your mask properly, it must fully cover your mouth and nose and fit snugly against the sides of your face.
Students must bring two clean masks to school each day in a Ziploc-style plastic bag. Schools will have disposable masks if you forget to bring one. District 67 will be giving students two masks, one with their school mascot and one from ISBE.
Why is it so important to keep your hands clean? Hand-washing removes germs, which helps you, and those around you, stay healthy.
To get hands clean, get them wet and soapy and rub them together for at least 20 seconds — or long enough to sing “Happy Birthday” silently two times. Be sure to wash the front and back of your hands and under your nails. Rinse with clean water and then dry.
If soap and water aren’t handy, clean your hands using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Squirt about a dime-sized amount of sanitizer into your palm and rub it all over your hands until it is dry.
Be sure to wash your hands as often as you can and especially before eating and after using the bathroom or touching anything dirty.
District 67 and 115 students will have frequent chances to wash their hands during the day and hand sanitizer will be available in all school buildings.
Social distancing, or staying six feet apart, is another important way to help stop germs from spreading. When you are in school, you need to stay six feet from everyone else. That means no hugs or high-fives; desks will be as far apart as possible; and hallways will have markings to help you keep your distance. (Six feet is about the size of a door lying down or the width of a car.)
Each school will have ways to ensure social distancing, including as students arrive and leave for the day. District 67 and District 115 will limit the number of people who can be in an elevator; locker use will be prohibited; and where food is being eaten, students will have designated seating areas.
STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK
Not feeling well? The best thing to do is stay home and call the doctor. That way others won’t catch whatever you have, even if it’s just a cold. It’s especially important to stay home and call the doctor if you have any COVID-19 symptoms. Those include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
To help keep COVID-19 from spreading, the Illinois Department of Public Health says you must stay home from school for 14 days after traveling to China, Iran, Italy, or South Korea. For details, please visit bit.ly/IDPH-travel