Percy Julian Middle School | File

Four people at Percy Julian Middle School tested positive for COVID-19 since the school began full-time in-person learning last week, according to Amanda Siegfried, communications director at Oak Park Elementary School District 97.

“Last week marked the first time that all grade levels were on site at our middle schools for full days,” Siegfried wrote. “They were previously on a three-week rotation–one grade level on site at a time.”

Percy Julian Middle School is at 416 S. Ridgeland Ave.

In an email to Wednesday Journal, Siegfried confirmed that 87 people have been in contact with those four individuals and must quarantine for two weeks. Siegfried said the four cases – which were reported May 6 and 7 through the district’s mandatory COVID-19 testing program – are not considered an outbreak by the Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) guidelines.

State health officials define an outbreak as five or more COVID-19 cases that are “linked to a common location during a 14-day period.” District 97 nurses worked alongside the Oak Park Department of Public Health to complete contract tracing and identify close contacts.

A close contact is someone who was within six feet of a person with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, the IDPH stated. Close contacts are required to quarantine for 14 days from the date of the last exposure, and students are not allowed to test out of quarantine, Siegfried wrote in the email.

District 97 continues to follow its safety mitigations, including requiring staff and students alike to wear face masks, wash their hands and social distance. Weekly COVID-19 testings and daily screenings will also continue to take place, Siegfried wrote.

“We also urge our students, families and staff to continue doing everything they can outside of school to minimize risk to themselves and others,” Siegfried wrote.

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