On March 2, 2022 Dr. Chapple-McGruder, Director of the Village’s Public Health Department, issued a statement for Oak Park early childhood programs in response to the easing of mask mandates across Illinois. You can read the full statement here. To summarize, the Oak Park Public Health Department order says:
- Children aged two and older who are medically able to wear face masks should mask up indoors at early learning programs, regardless of vaccination status.
- Early learning professionals should continue to mask up indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
Children can remove their masks to do activities like eating and sleeping, and masks are not required when children and staff are outside. Staff can remove their masks when they are socially distanced, or in a room with the door closed. When possible, staff and children should socially distance.
The Oak Park Public Health Department also recommends that staff wear masks that are clear or have a clear panel when they are with young children or with people who read lips.
Until new guidance is issued by the Oak Park Health Department, children and staff who test positive for COVID-19 should quarantine for a minimum of 5 days. You can read more about quarantining and isolation in the full order.
Continuing to mask up in early childhood programs is important because there is still not a vaccine for children under five. These requirements will remain in place until the Oak Park Public Health Department issues a new order. We will share out that information as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, let’s keep our children safe as they learn and grow by continuing to mask up in early learning programs!