St. Charles School District defends quarantine procedures

St. Charles Dist. 303 officials are defending the actions of a St. Charles North High School nurse after she made an unvaccinated student quarantine after he told the school he was in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

The student’s father, Alan DeFelice, appeared at the St. Charles School Board’s Business Services Committee meeting on Monday questioning the school nurse’s authority. His son is a senior at St. Charles North.

DeFelice told School Board members that his son was given a verbal order from a nurse.

“School officials can recommend, but not order or enforce a quarantine,” he said. “My healthy high school student and many others like him are under this fake quarantine order. Please take the necessary steps to put it back where it belongs – as the responsibility of the public health department.”

Carol Smith, director of communications and community relations for the district, said the nurse followed the proper procedures.

“The nursing staff in District 303 is mandated to follow the reporting process associated with determining close contacts related to COVID-19 as outlined by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Kane County Health Department,” Smith said in an email. “The school personnel will help determine who are close contacts to the positive student or staff. The close contacts will be sent home and should remain quarantined for a recommended 14 calendar days from the last day of exposure to the confirmed case.”

Kane County Health Department spokesperson Susan Stack would not comment on the case.

“We do not comment on school cases,” she said in an email.

DeFelice on Aug. 26 posted a video of his discussion with St. Charles North school nurse Amy Boynton on YouTube.

“He came to us and told us he was a close contact,” she tells DeFelice in the video. “And my colleague asked him specifically, “Were you within six feet for more than 15 minutes of somebody who is COVID positive?’ And he said yes. So according to the Kane County Health Department guidelines, who are the ones who establish the guidance for close contacts and quarantine, he has to go home and he has to be quarantined for 14 days if he is not vaccinated.”

DeFelice disputed what she said.

“That’s not what the law says,” he tells her. “The law says, and I have a copy of it here, that Kane County Health Department has the supreme interest of the state’s students. He’s a student of the state. You don’t get to tell him he can’t come to school. Kane County Health Department can and they haven’t. There’s a form they have to fill out to get him quarantined. They haven’t filled out any form.”

Boynton tells DeFelice that a form was submitted.

“We’re following the guidance of the communicable disease laws,” she tells him.

In turn, DeFelice tells her there is no communicable disease law and that his son doesn’t have a disease.

“He’s perfectly healthy,” he says.

When Boynton tells him to contact the Kane County Health Department, DeFelice then says, “I talked to them yesterday and they’re telling me the same bull…. you are.”

Eric Schelkopf

Eric Schelkopf

Eric Schelkopf covers St. Charles and writes entertainment stories for the Kane County Chronicle.