Devon Horton, Superintendent of School District 65, advised the District 65 community in a letter on Friday of the first known case of COVID-19 being likely spread in a District 65 building.

Dr. Horton said, “Since the start of hybrid learning over eight weeks ago, we are reporting our first likely case of spread within a building between two staff members this week.

“Those within the classroom and any close contacts have already been notified. We are working alongside the health department and will continue to monitor the situation. At this time, there is no evidence of spread to or among students in any building.”

On its dashboard, the District was reporting as of April 23, that there were no new COVID-19 cases reported for students during the week ending April 23, that 72 students were in quarantine, that four new Covid-19 cases for teachers were reported, and that six teachers were in quarantine.

A new positive case indicates that a student or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 and that the District was notified that week. “This does NOT mean that the individual was physically at school on the date of notification,” says the District.

“A quarantine case can be for a variety of reasons including the individual tested positive for COVID-19; the individual had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19; the individual exhibits symptoms of COVID-19; or the individual had close contact with someone who exhibited symptoms of COVID-19.

“We have a strong mitigation plan in place and our staff, students, and families have done an incredible job in following health and safety measures,” said Dr. Horton. “We ask that you continue to remain diligent both in and outside of school. While many adults are now receiving vaccinations, our children do not yet have this same opportunity. Please continue to avoid travel, playdates, sleepovers, and unmasked activities and gatherings.

“We will continue to ensure health and safety measures are being closely followed in all of our schools. This is especially important when a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19. When we receive notification, we immediately begin the contact tracing process to identify close contacts. Our community may notice from our COVID-19 Dashboard that there has been an increase in the number of individuals in quarantine since our return from spring break. 

“This is to be expected since social distancing guidelines have changed but the definition of close contact has not. Close contact continues to be defined as individuals who have been within six feet of a COVID-19 positive person for 15 minutes or longer. While quarantining is necessary to mitigate potential spread, it has an impact on our students, educators, and families. This is another reason why we ask everyone to remain mindful of their actions and do their part in keeping our school communities healthy and safe.”

Larry Gavin

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...

One reply on “First Likely Case of Spread of COVID-19 Between Staff Members in a District 65 Building – Not Between Students”

  1. This incident demonstrates why all teachers and staff members in school buildings should be vaccinated!

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