Virus fears close schools in Carpentersville, Palatine, Hinsdale; Lombard schools reopen
Fears associated with the COVID-19 illness are forcing two schools in Carpentersville and another in Palatine to close this week, even as a Lombard district prepares to reopen eight buildings that were shuttered Wednesday for a deep cleaning.
Dundee-Crown High School and Perry Elementary School, both in Carpentersville, have been closed and will remain so through Sunday due to a potential case of coronavirus exposure, officials confirmed.
The Kane County Health Department notified district officials at 11 a.m. Wednesday about a possible coronavirus case affecting both schools.
Parents were told by email that a Dundee-Crown student and that student's family were instructed to self-quarantine by the McHenry County Health Department while they await test results for another member of the family to confirm whether that person contracted the respiratory illness.
The student and family members were screened Wednesday and results are expected Friday or Saturday.
"It is important to note the student is not showing signs or symptoms related to the virus," Superintendent Fred Heid wrote. "Instead, this is a precautionary measure intended to minimize the possibility of community spread. We have also confirmed the student has not attended any large gatherings or school events in the last few weeks."
The schools' closure will allow workers "to perform a comprehensive cleaning of the building," Heid wrote.
All after-school activities, programs, clubs, athletic practices and performances also are canceled through Sunday.
Once test results are in, Heid said he will update affected families about the status of school for next week.
Earlier in the week, Heid said the district has the capability to provide e-learning opportunities to students should schools close due to any emergency.
"The district will follow the established makeup dates already on the calendar for snow days. If the existing makeup dates do not work, then the district will look to use a combination of e-learning and additional school days to make up the lost instructional time," according to an earlier announcement.
• Kirk School in Palatine, which is operated by the Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization, will be closed Thursday for cleaning after an employee's family member tested positive for coronavirus.
In a letter to parents and staffers Wednesday, NSSEO Superintendent Judy Hackett said the staff member has not been at school since March 4 due to caring for family and self-quarantining, and has remained free of symptoms.
After-school activities at Kirk also were canceled both Wednesday and Thursday, but it's anticipated the building will reopen Friday.
All other NSSEO programs and buildings will remain open Thursday, maintaining the increased level of daily cleaning that has been the norm in recent weeks, Hackett wrote.
• Hinsdale District 86 canceled classes, activities and events for today after a Hinsdale South student may have been exposed to the coronavirus, the district said in a notice late Tuesday night. The decision came after a sectional basketball game was canceled at Hinsdale South because of the concern. The district will use an emergency day because it didn't have time to set up an e-learning day, it said.
• Lombard Elementary District 44 plans to reopen all eight of its schools after the buildings were disinfected and cleaned on Wednesday.
Officials decided to do the "deep cleaning" after a visitor who tested positive for COVID-19 attended a March 4 volleyball game at Glenn Westlake Middle School.
"We have every intention of reopening school and continuing with all after-school activities" starting Thursday, Superintendent Ted Stec wrote.
Stec said District 44, which serves roughly 3,200 students, closed the schools "as a precautionary measure for enhanced disinfection and cleaning procedures -- not in response to any perceived threat."
• Daily Herald staff writer Eric Peterson contributed to this report.