All Catholic schools in Cook and Lake counties operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago will close beginning Monday, the Archdiocese announced Friday, as coronavirus cases in Illinois continue to rise.
"Due to the prevalence of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the greater Chicago area, the Archdiocese of Chicago is announcing a system-wide closure of Catholic schools, effective Monday, March 16," Catholic Schools Supt. Jim Rigg said in a statement. "This decision applies to all Catholic schools in Cook and Lake Counties operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago. Catholic schools not operated by the archdiocese, such as those governed by religious orders, will make decisions individually."
Rigg said the Archdiocese has not determined how long the closure will last and an announcement will be made "when we have determined a date to reopen."
"This decision extends to all regular operations of our Catholic schools," Rigg said, "including all extra-curricular activities, social events and other school-related gatherings."
The announcement came following news that St. Margaret of Scotland School and Parish on Chicago's Far South Side would close as of Friday after a student tested positive for coronavirus.
St. Margaret school officials were informed Thursday evening that the student had tested positive for the virus, according to school officials.
The school is located at 9833 S. Throop St. in Chicago's Longwood Manor neighborhood.
The student in question also attended the school's mass at St. Margaret of Scotland Church on Thursday, the letter reads.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday that Chicago Public Schools would remain open amid the global outbreak.