Four in D181 test positive for COVID-19

Four students in Community Consolidated District 181 have tested positive for COVID-19 since in-person classes resumed Sept. 8.

A student at Hinsdale Middle School was listed as the first case on the district website on Friday. The student, an eighth-grader, has not been at school while possibly contagious since Sept. 14, according to the notification sent to HMS families.

Another three students reported they had tested positive on Monday, Jamie Lavigueur, district communications director, told The Hinsdalean Tuesday. One is an eighth-grader at Clarendon Hills Middle School and two are fifth-graders at Prospect School.

In all four cases, it was determined no one had close contact with the students who tested positive.

Desks at all schools are placed 6 feet apart and students at the middle schools are not within close contact of other students for a cumulative 15 minutes, even with passing periods, Lavigueur said. HMS students are in school for about three hours a day and have three passing periods that total nine minutes.

Lavigueur said the district has received little feedback regarding the announcement of its first case.

"We built out a really transparent communication schedule that we shared at our board meeting prior to the start of the school year, so I think people knew what to expect," Lavigueur said.

The district is sharing more information than required by the DuPage County Health Department, indicating when the individual was last in the building and when they tested positive. Moving forward, families will be notified whether students attend classes in the morning or afternoon, Lavigueur said.

After initial notifications are sent to families of students who might have been in the close contact with an individual who tests positive, the district will notify the classroom or grade level and the school. Each Friday, new cases will be posted under the "Reopening" tab of the website at

"We thought that the best way to do that would be to post it through the spreadsheet that we have," Lavigueur said. "It seemed the most efficient way to notify families in a place where they could the information for all district families in one place."

An individual at Hinsdale Central tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, according to an email Principal Bill Walsh sent to district families Sept. 9. Hinsdale High School District 86 is fully remote until at least Oct. 5. The letter indicated those in close contact with the individual would receive a separate notification from the DuPage County Health Department.

A Hinsdale South student who was participating in a football camp also tested positive, according to a Sept. 14 letter sent to families of participants. All football-related activities have been suspended until Sept. 28 and all students and staff who participated in the camp were required to quarantine through today, Sept. 24.

The positive cases can serve as a reminder that elementary and middle school students are not immune to the virus and community members must continue to take precautions.

"We're following protocols in the schools, but it's just as important that they are followed in the community as well," Lavigueur said.

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean