With Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker’s recent mandate to require COVID vaccination or weekly testing for all school staff, West Washington County District 10 went to work developing a plan to fulfill this mandate.
Initially, the district considered the SHIELD Program, which was provided by the University of Illinois. The program offers free PCR testing for school staff and students and requires the participating school to have a minimum of 100 samples for pick-up or the school needs to deliver the samples to the lab, which is located in Springfield.
This plan was not workable for the Okawville district, so school nurse Melinda Albers reached out to the local health department for advice. Washington County Health Department (WCHD) Administrator Elizabeth Lehde set out to see how the department could help the local schools meet this mandate.
Read the full story in this week’s issue.