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We are working with schools to keep children and school staff healthy and to limit the spread of COVID-19

As a reminder, our jurisdiction does not include the cities of Chicago, Evanston, Oak Park, Skokie, or Stickney Township.

Covid Guidance

COVID Guidance for Grades K-12

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Click here for COVID-19 FAQs for Schools & Children

0.5 Children (22)

Yes. If you are required to get vaccinated (because you work in healthcare, at a school, college/university or state-owned or operated church or place of worship), you do have the option to be tested weekly instead. However, your employer may have stricter requirements.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

No. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any parts of the virus, so they can’t give your child COVID-19.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

No. School-aged children do not have to quarantine after returning from domestic travel.   They should continue to attend school in-person. However, they should get tested 3-5 days after returning from their trip and should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days.

Yes. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for all children age 5 and older. The vaccine is free for everyone, both kids and adults. You don’t need to show proof of insurance or immigration to receive it.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Test results must be provided in writing (paper or electronic copy) and must include information that confirms the person’s identity, the type of test that was done (must be NAAT or antigen test), the test result, the clinic or compant that is providing the test result, and the date the test was performed.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 03. Testing

Kids from 5-11 years old get a dose that is one third (1/3) the amount adults get. The needle is also smaller. Kids need two shots, 21 days apart, just like adults who get the Pfizer vaccine.

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In the clinical trials (the research), zero out of 3,082 children from 5-11 years old developed myocarditis due to COVID-19 vaccination. Still, we believe there is a very small risk of a child developing myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Children are just as likely to get COVID-19 as adults! It is true that children are less likely to have symptoms and if children have symptoms they are usually mild. But children with COVID-19 can still get very sick, need to go to the hospital, and even die.

Tags: Kids, Symptoms
Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

The unvaccinated teacher will need to resume weekly testing when they return to work.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 03. Testing

Children and adolescents (ages 12-18 years) receive the same dosage of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as adults. There are no weight requirements for vaccination and the dose is the same no matter what you weigh.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are safe for children and teens. CDC recommends everyone ages 5 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to help protect against COVID-19. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/children-teens.html

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

You should vaccinate your child as soon as possible, even if that means they will get the smaller dose. When your child returns for their 2nd dose, at age 12, they will get the higher dose.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Yes! The research shows that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5-11 years old. Even though children don’t usually get as sick as adults who get COVID-19, there are still some children who get very sick and need to go to the hospital. Also, we don’t know yet if there are long-term problems from COVID-19 that will show up when children are older. Last but not least, vaccinating our children helps to slow down the spread of COVID-19 which is good for everyone!

Category: 0.5 Children

The possible side effects of the vaccine for children are the same as for adults: things like fever, chills, or a sore arm. Young children usually have less side effects from the vaccine than adults do.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Whether vaccinated or not, any employee who tests positive for COVID should immediately isolate at home. If they have symptoms, isolation should continue for 10 days starting with the day symptoms began. If they have no symptoms, isolation should continue for 10 days starting with the day the positive test was collected.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 03. Testing

They must have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (Pfizer or Moderna) or a single dose vaccine (J&J) by September 19, 2021.

For those with Pfizer or Moderna 2-dose vaccine: The second dose must be done within 30 days (no later than October 19, 2021). For employees starting in these positions after September 19th, the employer will determine when vaccination must be completed.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Clinical trials (the research) are happening right now to make sure the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for kids as young as 6 months old. We cannot say for sure but it looks like the vaccine will be ready for children under 5 sometime in the beginning of 2022.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Many pediatricians are ordering the COVID-19 vaccine to have it ready for their patients. If your pediatrician does not have it, you can find the Cook County Health site closest to you here: myshotcookcounty.com.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

All Cook County Health sites will be offering the vaccine. To find hours and a site closest to you, visit myshotcookcounty.com. You can make an appointment or walk in.

The COVID-19 vaccine will also be offered in most physician offices. Parents are encouraged to reach out to their family doctor with questions.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 01. COVID-19

No. There is no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Yes. IDPH will provide free testing for all public PK-12 schools (includes tiers 1, 2, 3 and 4) and private schools through June 30, 2022 through the SHIELD Illinois program. For info, go here: http://shieldillinois.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/IDPH-SHIELD-IL-overview-091621.pdf

Many people do not have any side effects after getting the vaccine.
Some common side effects include:
• pain, redness and swelling on the arm where you got the shot
• tiredness
• headache
• muscle pain
• chills
• fever
• nausea

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Cook County COVID Metric 

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BinaxNOW tests can be ordered through CCDPH here OR by contacting IDPH: [email protected]

IDPH does direct-ship for some schools. CCDPH requires pick up in Oak Forest.

If schools work with the SHIELD program, they will also assist with the following for BinaxNOW: training, reporting, CLIA waiver, physician standing order. They will still need to order BinaxNOW tests through CCDPH or IDPH.

SHIELD signup via emailing Beth Heller, Senior Director of External Affairs for SHIELD, at [email protected] or clicking here.

COVID Vaccine Information


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Reporting to CCDPH

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To report a communicable disease to CCDPH, call 708-836-8699 or e-mail [email protected]

Testing Information

School Webinar Series  

In partnership with Cook County Intermediate Service Centers, CCDPH is hosted a series of informational webinars to help schools prepare for the school year and address questions and concerns from school personnel.  

To register click here

Recent Webinars