Over 700 Quarantined
The Naperville School District 203 COVID-19 dashboard shows that a total of 707 District 203 students were quarantined the week of April 12. The district said some quarantines were a result of close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, while others were a personal decision made by families because they had traveled, or opted to stay home following spring break. There is a total of about 17,000 students in the district.
“Despite a high level of compliance with our mitigation strategies by students and staff, we anticipated that an increase of the number of students back in person would also likely increase the number of students placed in quarantine due to contact tracing after probable and positive COVID cases,” said Naperville School District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges at Monday’s board of education meeting.
That number is double the 353 students quarantined the week of April 5. That was the first week students returned to in-person learning five days a week. Of the 707 students, dashboard data shows 196 are elementary students, 87 in middle school, and 424 high school students.
“At the high school level, the health office, administrators, as well as coaches all get involved in notifying,” said Stephanie Posey, interim assistant superintendent of secondary education. “The urgency is to make sure that we get those calls made immediately so that students don’t reenter the building or they do not participate in extracurriculars as they are occurring.”
Who are the Close Contacts?
Superintendent Bridges said the majority of close contact quarantines are those who participate in extracurricular activities or ride the bus. He said a small number were related to students in the classroom.
He said the district implements a 14-day quarantine period for those identified to be a close contact. The 14-day period can be reduced to 10 days if six feet of distance can be maintained, but District 203 decided to return to five days of in-person learning because social distancing for schools can now be three feet.
Much Less Tested Positive for COVID
Though a significant amount of students quarantined, the dashboard shows a total of 25 students tested positive for COVID-19 the week of April 12 compared to 40 the week of April 5.
At the board meeting, the district said they are in the early stages of working on a possible mass vaccination clinic in collaboration with Jewel-Osco and Indian Prairie School District 204. They hope to be able to vaccinate 6,000 people 16 and older sometime in May.
On April 19, the DuPage County Health Department also released new guidance, which gives school districts more authority to decide on who needs to quarantine if someone tests positive for COVID-19 on a sports team.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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