District 202, 65 prepare for potential coronavirus threat


Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette.

Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave.

Emma Edmund, City Editor

COVID-19 News

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and Evanston Township High School/District 202 both have plans in place should the coronavirus threat grow more severe.

District 202 released an update on March 9, and also said that it follows guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, which does not recommend closing or canceling public events or school as of March 6.

The update also mentioned that ETHS is routinely disinfecting and cleaning all frequently touched surfaces. The high school also has an e-learning plan prepared to continue instruction should classes not meet in person.

Superintendent Eric Witherspoon called for the district community to prevent the ethnic and racial discrimination associated with coronavirus, which often targets Chinese people and other people of Asian descent.

“People with origins in any particular country are no more likely to get COVID-19 than anyone else,” Witherspoon said in the update. “Help stop fear by letting people know that certain individuals, such as people of Asian descent, do not have an increased chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.”

District 65 released an update on Feb. 28 telling residents that the school district currently follows the school-related Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations regarding the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The district’s staff and families have not been asked to change their normal activities, according to the release.

The release also said that staff and students returning from mainland China should stay home for 14 days prior to returning to school; student absences will be labeled excused.

Hand sanitizer is available in all District 65 classrooms, according to the release, as well as many common areas.

“Parents and staff can support each other in reminding students to wash their hands regularly and use hand sanitizer each time they enter their classrooms,” interim Superintendents Phil Ehrhardt and Heidi Wennstrom said in the release.

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