D140 is committed to the health and safety of our students, families, and staff. With that in mind, we’d like to update our school community on the actions being taken by the District in regard to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
District 140 continues to follow the guidance provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for schools. The IDPH’s recommendations remain that schools hold classes and events as usual and follow routine cleaning and disinfecting procedures. No special measures are necessary.
The IDPH also recommends the best way to protect against coronavirus is by taking the same everyday precautions against getting sick in general. These include:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Staying home when you are sick.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
For more information on COVID-19, please view the IDPH’s Frequently Asked Questions.
With Spring Break fast approaching, we have had many questions about students and staff members traveling both domestically and internationally during this time. District 140 is following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance that students and staff who have traveled to a location with sustained widespread transmission (CDC Travel Warning of Level 3) should not attend school for 14 days after their return to the United States. Student absences are excused.
As superintendent, I cannot require individuals to report travel to areas with widespread and sustained transmission of COVID-19. I urge all families and staff traveling to CDC Level 3 Travel Warning areas to voluntarily self-report this information to us and follow the CDC's recommendations for self-quarantine. To self-report, please fill out our D140 Travel Register to indicate your travel plans. This information will be kept confidential.
Should a case of coronavirus be diagnosed, the IDPH and the CDC are responsible for monitoring and notifying personnel in areas that the individual has frequented. Public school officials typically receive the information directly from the family, physician and IDPH, or some combination of the three. In the event a student or community member is diagnosed with coronavirus, the school district will work directly with the IDPH and the CDC to notify staff, students, and community members. If it becomes necessary for the District to close a school or schools, the duration of the closure will be determined in consultation with local, county, and state health officials.
The District continues to monitor absence rates and has found them to be in line with what is typical for this time of year. Our nurses remain vigilant in monitoring the student body, especially in cases where students exhibit symptoms associated with the virus.
D140 custodians and bus personnel continue to follow the recommended processes for cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces in our buildings and on our school buses.
We will continue to closely monitor recommendations regarding coronavirus and will update you should there be any significant changes in recommendations for schools. Thank you for your support and partnership as we work together to keep our school community healthy.
Dr. Shawn M. Olson