On September 17, 2021, the Illinois State Board of Education posted notice of an emergency rule for mandatory vaccinations for school personnel. The emergency rule calls for all school personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The emergency rule applies to any public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school serving students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The emergency rule references Executive Order 2021-22. This Emergency Rule was filed on Friday, September 17. In Illinois, emergency rules are temporary rules that take effect immediately or up to 10 days after filing with the Secretary of State, but remain in effect for no more than 150 days. At the time of this writing, the emergency rule does not list an effective date. That being said, it is our guidance to operate as if it is in effect. Additionally, the rule contains many provisions that have been stated in recent Executive Orders and does not shed much additional light upon the questions that have arisen under them.
The rule defines school personnel to include any person who is employed by, volunteers for, or is contracted to provide services for a school or school district serving students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The rule also covers those individuals employed by an entity that is contracted to provide services to the school, school district, or students of a school.
The rule calls for school personnel to receive the first dose of a two-dose vaccine series or a single-dose vaccine by September 19, 2021. If applicable, the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series must be received within 30 days following the administration of the first dose. For school personnel starting in their school-based role after the effective date of Executive Order 2021-22, they must receive the first-dose of a two-dose vaccine series or a single-dose vaccine within 10 days of their start date in the school-based role. If applicable, the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series must be received within 30 days following the administration of the first dose.
Schools will require that school personnel who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to the school by September 19, 2021 or immediately upon becoming fully vaccinated.
The rule exempts school personnel from the requirement to be fully vaccinated if: the vaccine is medically contraindicated or if the vaccination would require the individual to violate sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. School personnel, who demonstrate that they are exempt from the vaccination requirement, are subject to testing. The testing must be done at least weekly.
Testing for school personnel who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 must be conducted either on-site at the school or the school must obtain proof of a negative test obtained elsewhere by the school personnel member being tested. School personnel who are not fully vaccinated may be permitted to enter or work while awaiting the results of their weekly test.
The rule calls on schools to exclude from the premises and/or refuse admittance to the school premises any school personnel acting in their school-based role who are not fully vaccinated unless they comply with the testing requirement. The rule mandates that all schools maintain a record for school personnel employed by the school or school district that identifies them as fully vaccinated; unvaccinated and compliant with testing requirements; or excluded from school premises. Schools are required to maintain documentation for each school personnel member that is either their proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or their COVID-19 test results.
The full emergency rule is available at:
COVID-19 Exclusions in Illinois Schools: Executive Order 2021-24 (COVID-19 Executive Order No. 90)
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued Executive Order 2021-24 (COVID-19 Executive Order No. 90) on Friday, September 17, 2021. This Executive Order was issued in light of the Delta variant and rising COVID-19 cases for 5 to 11-year-olds and 12 to 17-year-olds. The Executive Order covers exclusion mandates for confirmed, probable, and close contacts of COVID-19 cases in schools. The Executive Order was issued to include all Illinois public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools serving students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Exclusion means a school’s obligation to refuse admittance to the school premises, extracurricular events or any other events organized by the school. This Executive Order has gone into effect.
The Executive Order mandates that any student or school personnel member who is a confirmed case or probable case be excluded from school for a minimum of 10 days following onset date if symptomatic or date of test if asymptomatic, or as otherwise directed by the School’s local health authority. A confirmed case is one where the person has a positive result on a COVID-19 molecular amplification diagnostic test (e.g. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test) regardless of symptom status. A probable case is one where a person either has a positive result on a COVID-19 antigen diagnostic test regardless of symptom status, or has COVID-19-like symptoms and was exposed to a confirmed or probable case.
The Executive Order mandates that any student or school personnel member who is a close contact be excluded from school for a minimum of 14 days or as otherwise directed by the School’s local health authority. A close contact is defined as an individual who was within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes with a confirmed or probable case in a 24 hour period. For students, this does not apply to include a student who was within 3-6 feet of a confirmed or probable case in a classroom setting if both the close contact and the confirmed or probable case were consistently masked for the entire exposure period. Lastly, a close contact does not include those individuals who are fully vaccinated or tested positive for COVID-19 within the prior 90 days and are currently asymptomatic.
The Executive Order also mandates that schools shall exclude any student or school personnel for a minimum of 10 days who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 until they are fever free for 24 hours and until 48 hours after diarrhea or vomiting have ceased.
If a student is excluded from in-person instruction, the school shall make remote instruction available for that student.
The full Executive Order can be found at:
Jonathan Priest, not pictured