Flossmoor School District 161 seeks to maintain a safe environment for employees, students, and their families in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The District has developed a testing program and is partnering with SHIELD Illinois to screen students, teachers, and staff for COVID-19 infection. BinaxNOW diagnostic testing will also be offered for students and staff who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. This notice provides information about the SHIELD and BinaxNOW programs to allow an informed consent for your student to participate. By not opting out of the testing programs described below, consent for your student to participate in the SHIELD and BinaxNOW testing programs is presumed.

What is SHIELD Illinois?

SHIELD Illinois is a RT-PCR saliva test that Flossmoor School District 161 will be utilizing to screen all individuals who have not opted out of the program. Vaccinated individuals are welcome to show their vaccination card and opt out of the program. This testing will be completed on a weekly basis in an effort to identify asymptomatic positives before unknowingly spreading COVID-19 to others. We will be working with the SHIELD team, along with a 3rd party, to assist us in administering and processing these tests. In the case of an outbreak, the District will also utilize the SHIELD resources / data to minimize transmission within the school.

When will the SHIELD samples be collected?

All testing will take place at each of our schools. Classes will have assigned times on their testing day. All testing will take place during the school day. Testing must take place in school due to FDA Emergency Use Authorization and CLIA protocol.

What is BinaxNOW?

BinaxNOW is a rapid antigen test that detects the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19 infection. The specimen is collected via nasal swab and results are available in about 15 minutes. School District 161 nurses will be trained to collect samples for BinaxNOW, process the test, and interpret results. The goal of this test is to quickly identify symptomatic positives. The BinaxNow test will be used when students are at school and are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. It may also be used as part of the test to stay strategy when approved by the local health department.

How will I know my child’s results?

SHIELD Illinois: Only those with a positive test result or anyone identified as a close contact will be contacted following these screening tests.  You will also be able to access your child's results by creating an account and adding your child to the account.  

BinaxNOW: You will receive a call from the nursing office with the results. The nurse or other designated person will report the positive results to the Illinois Department of Public Health [IDPH]. This is consistent with IDPH guidance and the Illinois Control of Communicable Disease Code.

What should I do if my student tests positive?

If your student’s test results are positive, please contact your child’s doctor immediately to review the test results and discuss next steps. Your student will not be permitted to return to school until they have completed the mandatory 10-day isolation and all symptoms (if any) have improved. Tests sometimes produce incorrect negative results called “false negatives” in people who have COVID-19. If your child tests negative but has symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have concerns about your child’s exposure to COVID-19, you should keep your student home from school and call your child’s doctor. If your child has any COVID-19 symptoms or has close contact with an individual infected with COVID-19, your child will need to remain at home depending on specific symptoms, exposure, and whether a confirmatory test will be needed. Discuss this information with the nurse at your child's school.

There may be times that a negative BinaxNOW result may require that the student be picked up from school due to the type of symptom(s) present and may require a confirmatory test at an outside facility be completed or completion of a 10-day isolation period (if a confirmatory testing is not completed). This may be required by the health department due to high community transmission levels, if the school is experiencing an outbreak, if the individual has had close contact with a case of COVID-19, or when results combined with symptoms and risk factors warrant based on nurse assessment. Requirements for confirmatory testing are subject to change based on new findings.

Do I need to take any other action?

No other action is required if you consent for your child to participate in the SHIELD or BinaxNOW testing programs pursuant to the above terms. If you DO NOT CONSENT for your child to be tested for COVID-19 infection using SHIELD Illinois or BinaxNOW, please complete, sign, and return the SHIELD / BinaxNOW opt out form to the office of your child’s school.