Lombard District 44 closing all 8 schools Wednesday after visit from someone with COVID-19

All eight schools in Lombard Elementary District 44 will be closed Wednesday after officials said a visitor who tested positive for COVID-19 attended a March 4 volleyball game at Glenn Westlake Middle School.

In a letter to parents Tuesday, Superintendent Ted Stec said the district made the decision "out of an abundance of caution" and will hire licensed professionals "to conduct enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures."

The district, which serves roughly 3,200 students, also canceled all after-school activities Tuesday, including park district programs.

"Our decision to close school is above and beyond what is being recommended by health authorities and is not in response to a threat in our community," Stec wrote. "We feel it is extremely important that we take all necessary precautions to best protect our students, staff and community members."

He said he expects classes to resume Thursday.

There have not been any reported cases of COVID-19 in DuPage County. But Stec said the district's response reflects the "need to work collaboratively on protecting ourselves."

The DuPage County Health Department said any coaches, players or fans who attended the volleyball match should self-monitor through March 18 for symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Those individuals have no restrictions on their daily activities, officials said. If symptoms develop, however, they should call the health department at (630) 221-7030 so it can coordinate safe and prompt medical attention.

Health department officials said participation and attendance at the volleyball game is considered a low-risk exposure, since the person with COVID-19 reported no direct contact with team members or fans.

They said attendance at the game was sparse and most fans were not seated close together.

Still, health officials said the district is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance with recommendations on cleaning and disinfection.

They said current evidence suggests the coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best-practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings.

District 44 officials said they plan to use an emergency day built into the school calendar to make up for the missed day.

Ted Stec
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.