No mask rule, remote learning yet amid COVID-19 surge at Dist. 203's Maplebrook Elementary

  • Last week 67 students and 22 staff members tested positive for COVID-19 at Maplebrook Elementary School in Naperville.

    Last week 67 students and 22 staff members tested positive for COVID-19 at Maplebrook Elementary School in Naperville. Courtesy of Naperville Unit District 203

 
 
Updated 4/19/2022 8:26 PM

Despite a recent surge in COVID-19 cases at Maplebrook Elementary School, Naperville Unit District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges said there are no plans to require masks in the school and no plans to shift to remote learning.

Last week, 67 students and 22 staff members at Maplebrook tested positive for COVID-19, according to the district's COVID-19 dashboard updated on Monday.

 

That represents about 13% of the student enrollment and more than a third of the staff members.

Bridges said district officials are closely monitoring the situation at Maplebrook and throughout the district. But for now, District 203 will continue to follow recommendations from the CDC and the DuPage County Health Department and implement extra mitigation strategies at Maplebrook.

"While we've seen a small increase in cases in other areas of our 203 community since spring break, currently Maplebrook is the only school with cases high enough to warrant those extra precautions," Bridges said at Monday's school board meeting.

Bridges said Maplebrook will keep air circulation units running 24 hours a day, and windows will be open whenever possible. Masks will be strongly encouraged but not required.

Thorough disinfection of all surfaces will occur daily at Maplebrook, and there will be increased social distancing in classrooms, common areas and during lunchtime. SHIELD IL testing was available Tuesday at Maplebrook and will occur Mondays and Wednesdays in the coming weeks.

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Bridges said the district was in communication with the county health department about possibly closing Maplebrook and shifting to remote learning. But health officials emphasized the importance of staying with in-person learning as long as the building could be safely staffed.

While staffing was stretched thin, Bridges said, Maplebrook was able to stay open.

Bridges said the district will not require masking again unless the CDC determines it's needed based on community metrics.

"As a community, we can't just be done," Bridges said. "We've got to continue to be vigilant, monitor our symptoms, report symptoms and stay home as needed."

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