DeKALB - A student at Clinton Rosette Middle School is the latest to report a positive COVID-19 case in the DeKalb School District 428, and as a result a number of close contacts at the school have been placed into quarantine.
Kyle Gerdes, director of student services, confirmed the news Tuesday.
“We had a positive student case, and then there was a group of students that were considered to be close contacts,” Gerdes said. “We communicated with those families and followed our procedures to make sure they were notified and quarantined.”
Gerdes said about 10 students had to quarantine and will continue to learn from home for the next two weeks.
According to COVID-19 information updated weekly on Fridays by the district, as of April 1, the positivity rate in the district was at 4.1%, with 17 positive student cases, zero positive staff cases, and 108 total quarantined, including three staff members.
Gerdes said that information, and the new Clinton Rosette case which the district was notified about this week, will likely be added to the public COVID-19 dashboard by Friday.
According to Sycamore District 427′s online dashboard, as of March 29, the district reports five positive cases, including one staff member. Also as of that date, there are 25 students and one staff member quarantined due to close contact, and 53 other students and staff quarantined.
The district continues to work closely with the DeKalb County Health Department which offers guidance for case contract tracing and mitigation, Gerdes said.
“I do feel confident because we’re following the guidance of the DeKalb County Health Department and they’re obviously following the guidance of the CDC and IDPH,” Gerdes said. “So even going back to the summer, we’re relied on them for their guidance and consultation about cases and what we should be doing in terms of mitigation strategies and our process for following up when there’s a positive case.”
Gerdes said “it’s an understatement” to say the process is a team effort, since the mitigation protocols involve parents, teachers, staff, support staff, cleaning staff, school nurses and administrators.
“We knew, just given the pandemic, the possibility of having cases,” Gerdes said. “Our goal all along was to try to reduce the risk of that happening.”
Prior to each day of school, the district asks parents or guardians to fill out a self-certification sheet, which asks them to take their child’s temperature and report whether the child is experiencing symptoms or not.
In October, district staff were taking temperature screenings before the children entered school, Gerdes said, but that practice has since stopped after spring break.
“That’s based on guidance from the DeKalb County Health Department, who recommended that symptom checks using just a thermometer wasn’t necessary,” Gerdes said.
Gerdes said the district still has trained staff with thermometers on hand and school nurses able to respond if a student starts exhibiting symptoms while at school.
A week ago, D-428 sports officials announced soccer, volleyball and dance teams would quarantine until April 8.
“From what I know, I don’t believe there’s a link from this case at Clinton Rosette and sports overall,” Gerdes said.