Dear OPRF Students, Staff, and Families,
I write to you today out of deep concern about the number of our students who are testing positive for COVID-19. While the Oak Park Department of Public Health (OPDPH) cannot and does not share the identity of positive cases, the department has let us know that 24 current OPRF students tested positive from Aug. 15 through Sept. 9.
We have received information from both parents and students that a large indoor gathering of students recently was held at a local home, where mask-wearing and social-distancing were not observed. A significant number of positive cases are believed to have resulted from that event.
Students, I implore you: Please stop engaging in risky behaviors. They put not just you and your families but our entire community at risk.
I also want to stress the importance of cooperating with OPDPH in its efforts to conduct contact-tracing. I understand that sharing information about unsafe behavior may be uncomfortable and embarrassing. But providing details about whom an exposed person has been with, for how long, where they were, etc., is essential to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Whether symptomatic or not, anyone who has been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 should self-quarantine for 14 days, and so should all members of the contact’s household. More information about testing and quarantining is available from the Illinois Department of Public Health by clicking here.
Please remember that, according to public health officials, the following guidelines for reducing exposure to COVID-19 apply to everyone regardless of age:
- Wear face coverings when out in public.
- Do not attend large social gatherings.
- Maintain social distancing.
- Stay home when you are sick.
It is only by working together as a community that we will be able to halt the spread of COVID-19. We all look forward to the day when we are able to return to some level of in-person classes--and with the cooperation of each and every one of you, the sooner we can make that happen.
In the meantime, take care, be well, and be safe!
Dr. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams