ROMEOVILLE, IL — A staff member at St. Andrew The Apostle Catholic School tested positive for coronavirus infection earlier this week, parish officials said. In a letter sent out to school parents and guardians, school principal Carol Albreski said that the staff member in question self-reported a positive test result of infection after beginning to show symptoms on Friday, March 20. This was one week after St. Andrew's closed on March 13 in compliance with Gov. J.B. Pritzker's executive order that cancelled classes across the state.
According to the letter, the staff member in question is currently quarantined at home and is receiving medical treatment. According to officials with the Diocese of Joliet, the specific position of this staff member and what age group of children they may have worked with, if any, is being withheld due to HIPAA concerns.
Here is the full text of Albreski's letter to St. Andrew families:
Dear SAS Families and Staff,
I am writing this afternoon with important information concerning exposure to the COVID-19 virus in our school community. A staff member of St. Andrew the Apostle School has self-reported a positive test for COVID-19. The employee is receiving medical treatment and is quarantined. The staff member presented with symptoms March 20, seven days after we closed on March 13. Once symptomatic, the staff member was seen by a physician and is continuing to quarantine for 10 days at home.
According to county health officials, because the staff member was not symptomatic while at school, the risk of exposure to students and other staff members is minimal. If you or any member of your family displays COVID-19 symptoms, consult with your family doctor.
After consultation with health care professionals where the staff member was treated, I would like to provide you with the following information from them concerning the COVID-19 virus. Health care professionals have advised anyone who may have had exposure would most likely be symptomatic by this time as well. We have been in contact with the Will County Health Department. I was referred to the Illinois Department of Public Health for the below guidelines.
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. Please contact your primary care physician if you exhibit any of these symptoms.
These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- Shortness of breath
How to prevent the spread of the virus:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put a 6-foot distance between yourself and other people
The CDC has provided substantial guidance on managing COVID-19 and we urge you to check their website and confer with your personal health care provider if you have any questions. In summary, the CDC notes:
- Most people who get sick with COVID-19 will have only mild illness and should recover at home. Older adults (over age 60 years) and people of any age with certain serious underlying medical conditions like lung disease, heart disease, or diabetes are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness and should seek care as soon as symptoms start.
- Most people who have exposure to COVID-19 or have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 do not require testing for COVID-19. Right now, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is recommending testing only for individuals who require hospitalization or for persons (may include residents or staff) who are part of a cluster of 2 or more possible or confirmed cases in a residential setting such as an assisted living facility, group home, homeless shelter or correctional settings. Depending on symptoms, exposure and testing availability, your personal health care provider may be able to arrange testing at a commercial lab.
- If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider for medical advice. Stay in isolation at home until at least 7 days after symptoms started AND 3 days after fever resolves (without any fever medications like Tylenol) AND symptoms are getting better.
- You can locate more information about COVID-19 at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are- sick/steps-when-sick.html.
More information about COVID-19 may be obtained from the Center for Disease Control at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
If you have any questions regarding the health of your family, please contact your physician.
As always, the safety and security of all our students, families and staff is my number one concern. The school constantly follows cleaning and sanitizing protocols and will continue to do so through our closure.
Please pray for our staff member as well as all our SAS families as we navigate this unprecedented time. I pray for each of you every day and I am always available via email.
Peace and Be Well,
Mrs. Carol Albreski