COVID Updates


The SHIELD test for COVID is set to start in Unit #40. Here are important points for the      program:

1. Testing will be held on Monday and Tuesday of the week.

2. Testing will begin Monday, November 15th and Tuesday, Nov. 16th

3. SHIELD testing program is voluntary for unvaccinated students.

4. SHIELD testing program will be offered to staff to meet the Executive Order for weekly testing requirement.

5. Only those students/parents that have returned consent forms and uploaded into the SHIELD system will be allowed to test. Please CLICK HERE to download a copy of the form.

6. Students can be added to be SHIELD tested (by parents). Adding new names for testing will not be immediate as the onboarding process must be utilized. Please contact the main office of your child’s building for a consent form or CLICK HERE

Testing Protocols

1. Zebra Health will oversee SHIELD testing in Unit #40. Unit #40 staff will help support     Zebra implementing the SHIELD testing program.

2. Students and staff will be tested during the same time frame in the schedule.

3. There are some suggested hints when participating in SHIELD testing:
--No eating/drinking one (1) hour prior to testing
--Refrain from colored drinks such as Gatorade/HiC prior to testing
--Refrain from colored candies/food such as Cheetohs/Jolly Ranchers prior to testing
--Do drink plenty of water (to help produce saliva) prior to one (1) hour before testing

4. Testing will be conducted in each Unit #40 building according to the schedule

5. All students must have a signed consent form to participate in the SHIELD test

6. SHIELD testing specimens will be delivered to a SHIELD partner lab for testing. Results are expected within 24 hours.

7. If test result is positive, the student/parent/staff member will be directed to contact their health care provider and the Effingham County Health Department (ECHD) at 217-342-9237.

8. Test results will be shared with the ECHD, the appropriate school, and IDPH through the redcap reporting system.

Additional SHIELD information, including a FAQ, can be found on this page. Please go to the top right hand corner for the area reserved for SHIELD information.  


  Monday: November 15 & 22
School Group  Start Time End Time
EJHS Staff available to test 8:55 AM 9:30 AM
EJHS Students available to test 8:55 AM  9:30 AM
East Side (AM Group) Staff available to test 9:45 AM 10:15 AM
East Side (AM Group) Students available to test 9:45 AM 10:15 AM
Central  Staff available to test 10:30 AM 11:45 AM
Central Students available to test  10:30 AM 11:45 AM
EHS/BOE/Transportation Staff available to test 1:05 PM 1:45 PM
EHS/BOE/Transportation Students available to test 1:05 PM  1:45 PM
Tuesday: November 16 & 23  
School Group Start Time End Time
South Side Staff available to test 9:15 AM 10:15 AM
South Side  Students available to test 9:15 AM 10:15 AM
ELC Staff available to test 10:30 AM 11:15 AM
 ELC Students available to test 10:30 AM 11:15 AM
East Side (PM Group) Staff available to test 1:10 PM 1:40 PM
East Side (PM Group)  Students available to test 1:10 PM 1:40 PM


November 19, 2021

The information below represents the current numbers of students/staff quarantined and/or isolated from Unit #40 schools due to COVID-19.  

Number of total staff: 375

Number of staff quarantined:  4

Number of staff isolated (+):  5

Number of total students:  2,296

Number of students quarantined:  14

Number of students isolated (+):  3

The decision on who is placed into isolation and/or quarantine and for how long are determined by the Effingham County Health Department.


Isolation:  the individual has tested positive for COVID-19

Quarantined:  the individual has been determined (by Health Dept.) to have had “close contact” with an individual with a positive COVID-19 finding.   

All are urged to follow safety protocols to minimize the risk of COVID-19.  These include wearing a face covering, social distance (6ft. away), and washing your hands frequently.  


Please monitor yourself and your family members for COVID-19 symptoms.  If you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms please stay home and contact your health care provider for further assistance. For further information please call the Unit #40 office at (217) 540-1500.

Thank you. 
Mark E. Doan
Effingham Unit #40

On August 9, 2021, the Effingham Unit #40 School Board approved the Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services. This plan must be flexible moving forward. Therefore, the District may add or modify mitigation measures to classrooms, school buildings, or the entire District as needed during the 2021-22 school year. The District will monitor any additional information forthcoming from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Illinois Department of Health (IDPH), and Effingham County Health Department (ECHD). District officials will continue to collaborate and consult with Effingham County Health Department officials on various logistics and decision-making.

In the plan there are many details that school districts across Illinois will need to follow and enforce in the 2021-22 school year. While there may be disagreement in some aspects of these details, it is our hope that we can work together to continue to provide in-person learning to all of our students.

It is certainly understood that some do not agree with all aspects of the plan or the statewide mandate for masking. However, we ask that you please allow the school district staff to operate our schools within the parameters of the plan so we can provide a conducive learning environment for students. To be permitted into Unit #40 buildings, everyone must wear a mask.

We appreciate your understanding and support. Thank you for your continued feedback. Working together, we will have a positive 2021-22 school year.

To view the Unit #40 – Plan for Safe Return 2021-2022 and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), please click here.