Students and their family members on Sunday reacted to the death of a northwest suburban student whose passing was likely a result of complications related to the novel coronavirus, according to school officials.
The student’s death was confirmed in a letter sent to parents on Saturday by Arlington Heights District 214 Superintendent Dr. David R. Schuler.
In that letter, Schuler said, “It is my unfortunate responsibility to inform you of the passing of one of our students likely due to complications related to COVID 19.”
“It really hit home,” said parent Ivon Vega. “Sad news to find out one of my kid’s classmates had passed to due to the virus. It triggered me.”
District 214 is made up of six high schools and two specialized schools. The student’s name, age and specific school were not released.
“It shocked me in the beginning because I always thought it was never going to affect me,” said Phillip Kiezkowski, a junior at Rolling Meadows High School. “After time, it starts affecting you more and more. Now it’s somebody in our area.”
Schuler also announced that another student is currently being treated in an area intensive care unit for the virus.
“We will continue to move forward to see the sunrise again one day, however this week in our district is marked by pain and sadness,” Schuler said. “My family’s thoughts and prayers are with these families and all members of our district’s school community during this global pandemic.”
Schuler also said the student services staff is continuing to work with those affected by the student’s death to offer support and implores everyone to follow Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s orders to stay home and practice social distancing.
“That’s crazy we’re all around each other and someone’s died of coronavirus. makes me feel I have to be more careful around people,” said Rolling Meadows junior Joey Calcaretty.
Gov. Pritzker announced on Friday that all schools in the state would continue with e-learning programs for the remainder of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.