CPS Addresses Social Media Rumors on Whether Schools Will Close for Coronavirus

"This is a developing situation and we thank our families and communities for their patience," Jackson said

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Chicago Public Schools officials addressed the public Tuesday amid questions from parents on social media over whether schools will close due to the coronavirus.

CPS CEO Janice Jackson said "there are no plans to close any schools at this time" outside of Vaughn Occupational High School, which remains closed after an aide tested positive for the virus.

"This is a developing situation and we thank our families and communities for their patience," Jackson said.

Another school in the Chicago area closed abruptly Tuesday due to concerns over the coronavirus. NBC 5's Charlie Wojciechowski has the latest details.

She noted, however, that the district is preparing for "various scenarios" as the coronavirus situation continues to unfold.

In addition to stepped up cleaning and disinfecting measures, staff and officials are preparing ways to ensure students can continue to have "a meaningful academic experience should learning be disrupted."

Health officials said the decision to close schools will be made on a "case by case" basis and is "based on a lot of factors."

At least four schools across the Chicago area were closed Tuesday.

The most recent institution to shut its doors was Resurrection College Prep High School, which said a "member of our school community was in contact with a person who was diagnosed with COVID 19."

Students at the school were dismissed at 10 a.m. Tuesday and school was canceled on Wednesday.

"This will give us time to perform a deep cleaning of our school," the school said in a statement. "We have the necessary equipment to do so and such a process takes two days."

At least three schools in the Chicago area were closed Tuesday over an uptick in confirmed cases of coronavirus. Sandra Torres reports.

Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in the Lake View East neighborhood on Chicago's North Side was also closed Tuesday.

The parent of a student from the school tested positive for coronavirus, the school said in a letter to parents early Tuesday. School officials said the Illinois Department of Public Health did not require the closure, but the school would cancel all classes and and activities out of an abundance of caution.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared a disaster proclamation Monday over the coronavirus outbreak as an additional four cases were reported in Chicago. NBC 5's Dick Johnson reports.

In north suburban Wilmette, Loyola Academy canceled classes Tuesday for the second day in a row after school officials learned that a student and the student's family had contact with someone who later tested positive for the virus.

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At Vaughn Occupational High School on Chicago's North Side, the building remains closed until March 18. The aide who tested positive at the school, a Chicago woman in her 50s, was hospitalized in stable condition after she recently disembarked from the Grand Princess cruise ship in California, where 21 people on board tested positive for the coronavirus, health officials.

At Tuesday's press conference, CPS officials said they will be packaging boxes with three days' worth of food for those in quarantine from the school. The packages will be available at a CPS warehouse Wednesday and will also be available for delivery to those who need them.

Staff under quarantine will be paid, the district said, noting that so far no others at the school have tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, Illinois health officials announced Monday that four new coronavirus cases had been confirmed, bringing the state's total to 11 as Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared a disaster proclamation over the outbreak.

The new cases involve two women in their 50s and 70s who are relatives of the Chicago Public Schools aide diagnosed on March 6. The women are not connected to Vaughn Occupational High School, however, health officials said.

The third case is a woman in her 50s, who is from California but traveled to Illinois. The fourth case is a woman in her 70s who returned earlier this month from an Egyptian cruise linked to COVID-19 cases.

All four women were in good condition and in isolation, health officials said.

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