March 3, 2021
Dear District 113 Parents/Guardians,
As you are aware, March 2 began our first day of SHIELD testing for students who are participating on campus in Hybrid Learning or are on campus for athletics and activities. Testing for COVID-19 is another layer of mitigation against the spread of the virus.
Yesterday also marked the first day since January 31 we sent out a confirmed case notice regarding individuals who tested positive and had been on one of our campuses. In case you missed yesterday’s notice, one combined notice for all buildings will be sent when there is at least one positive case and the infected individual(s) has/have been on campus. Positive cases from our SHIELD testing will now be included in the case counts we report as well. Please be aware that our notices will include positive cases from our SHIELD testing and from other testing. The notices will not indicate the source of the testing.
Today’s notification email has not yet gone out but I want to let you know that the case count that you will see is high. Deerfield High School has 14 positive cases and Highland Park High School has one positive case. Of those, three of those positive cases at DHS were reported by SHIELD and one at HPHS was reported by SHIELD. Eleven of the 14 cases at DHS came from other testing.
We expect that this news may generate questions so we will compile an FAQ and will put it on the website tomorrow under the SHIELD tab here.
Since the beginning of the pandemic we have worked closely with the Lake County Health Department (LCHD) on every positive case and we continue to do so. LCHD told us that we are doing all the right things with multiple layers of mitigation and following proper procedures. Of course, if their assessment or guidance changes, we will follow their recommendation.
Another important item to note is that as part of our SHIELD testing program, we have committed funds and personnel to contact the parents/guardians of students who test positive through SHIELD and begin gathering information on close contacts, those within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes, to comply with LCHD’s contact tracing data requirements. Unless you are contacted by District 113 or the LCHD, there is nothing further you or your student needs to do.
On Monday, March 8 we will be reporting to the Board many details from our first two weeks of Hybrid Learning as well as SHIELD testing. After that meeting, we will post SHIELD testing metrics on our website. We expect to continue to be informed of positive cases outside of District 113’s SHIELD program and want to be clear that the number of cases reported in the notification emails will not match the number of positive cases detected through SHIELD.
I know we are all weary of the impact COVID-19 has made on our lives but please, remember to follow the 3Ws -- wash your hands, wear a mask, watch your distance.
Bruce Law, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools