A child receiving COVID vaccination in Evanston in 2021.

COVID-19 will be treated “as we do other communicable diseases” in 2023-24.

That, said Interim District 65 Superintendent Angel Turner, means there will be “no Remote Learning Classrooms this year.”

The update is part of a COVID-19 message for the district on Wednesday.

Turner said that with students and staff returning to classrooms, “we are seeing an expected increase in illness within our communities …” of both respiratory illnesses and COVID-19. (Specific numbers were not given).

Unlike during the pandemic’s peak in 2020 and 2021, students will not have to attend class via computer at home.

“Our goal,” Turner said, “is to keep our schools healthy and ‘everyday operations’ in place.”

Of course, COVID will not be ignored. It’s become a fact of life, even if it’s nowhere near what it was when the pandemic was officially taking place.

Those who become ill are strongly encouraged to stay home, “to reduce the spread of illness to others,” Turner said.

Anyone who does test positive needs to quarantine for five days, and then can only return to school with a mask for days 6-10, as long as they are symptom-free.

In case of a “single confirmed COVID case” in a classroom, or for “outbreaks (5 or more cases or 20% of the population group), letters will be sent home, informing families of what is taking place.

If there is a classroom outbreak, Turner said, “masks will be recommended within that classroom.”

Because there is no remote learning planned, any student who is out ill “will be allowed to make up missing work without penalty.”

Students are also urged to practice good hygiene, and get COVID and flu vaccinations.

Turner said the policies are in line with public health guidance.

And, as in pretty much every school-related COVID story since the pandemic began in March, 2020, the Interim Superintendent noted that “We will monitor health trends and make adjustments as needed.”

So, in theory at least, things could change.

More information is available on the districts’s Health & Wellness Services webpage.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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