Two coronavirus cases were confirmed Sunday at Chicago Public Schools, one coming at a South Side elementary school and another at a Southwest Side charter, the day after Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered all Illinois schools closed starting Tuesday.
The one at the kindergarten through eighth grade elementary school, district-run Sheridan Math and Science Academy in Bridgeport, was announced in an email to all CPS families Sunday evening. The district wouldn’t say whether it was a student or a staff member who came down with the coronavirus, COVID-19.
Sheridan, which CPS said will be closed Monday, a day early, is a magnet school that serves 549 students, nearly half of whom come from low-income families. Anyone who was in the building since March 9 was asked to quarantine at home until March 23.
All other CPS schools are set to be in session Monday before closing for two weeks by governor’s order. All students and families can pick up three days’ worth of food for every student at any given time over the next two weeks, starting Tuesday. School buildings will operate as food distribution centers from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and delivery will be available by calling (773) 553-5437. Families can go to any school to get food, no matter if it’s the one their students usually attend.
The charter case happened at the Noble Network’s Mansueto High School in Brighton Park, prompting the network to close all 18 of its schools Monday.
A staff member at Mansueto, the publicly funded but privately run charter, tested positive for the virus Sunday, according to an email from Noble CEO Constance Jones sent to the school community. Mansueto will now remain closed until all schools in Chicago and Illinois reopen March 31 at the earliest.
The staffer was at Mansueto from March 4 through March 13, so anyone who was at the school during that time should stay at home for 14 days, Jones said.
“During that closure, Mansueto will undergo recommended levels of professional cleaning with medical-grade decontamination spray,” Jones said.
Mansueto is an IB charter that serves 997 students, nearly all low-income and Latino. The network will still offer food services out of several schools from 8 to 11 a.m. daily.
“If you have a concern about picking up essential materials please reach out to your school’s principal,” Jones said.
All Noble families can stop at any of the schools offering food service, which include:
- Pritzker College Prep, 4131 W. Cortland St.;
- Noble Street College Prep, 1010 N. Noble St.;
- Hansberry College Prep, 8748 S. Aberdeen St.;
- DRW College Prep, 931 S. Homan Ave.;
- Comer Middle School, 1010 E. 72nd St.;
- Baker College Prep, 2710 E. 89th St.; and
- Butler College Prep, 821 E. 103rd St.
“This is a difficult time for our Noble family, which demands sacrifices from us all to ensure the safety of our community and our city,” Jones said. “I remain confident as ever in your heart and perseverance to lead the way through.”
The cases are the second and third at CPS schools, with the first coming earlier this month at Vaughn Occupational High School, a special education school on the Northwest Side.
Earlier Sunday, Illinois Department of Public Health officials announced 29 new cases of coronavirus in Illinois, bringing the statewide total to 93 cases. Officials did not immediately say whether the CPS and Noble cases were included in that update.