(FROM CHICAGO) – Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, synagogue in Lakeview closed after parent tests positive for coronavirus



A Lakeview synagogue and attached day school will be closed Tuesday because a member of the synagogue who has children in the school has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, a rabbi with Anshe Emet said.

Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School and Anshe Emet Synagogue sent out email notices Monday to families who have kids in the primary school or who attend the synagogue. Rabbi Michael Siegel said a parent was tested Monday and later made Siegel aware the result was positive.

Siegel, along with Gary Weisserman, head of the school, said the decision to close the school and synagogue were made “out of an abundance of caution” while the children whose parent tested positive also are tested.

“Late this evening we received confirmation that the parent has tested positive for COVID-19. While the Department of Public Health advised that closure is not required, out of an abundance of caution we are canceling school (and all after-school activities) … while we continue to consult with public health officials,” Weisserman wrote in an email.

Siegel said the person who tested positive has not been on campus within the last month and is self-quarantined at home along with the entire family.

“To be very clear, no Bernard Zell student or staff member has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and based on conversations with medical experts, we believe the risk to our students and faculty is low. This individual’s spouse and children remain asymptomatic but will undergo testing first thing in the morning,” Weisserman said.

Since the school and synagogue share the same space, the building will be closed and office staff was told to stay home Tuesday. The building is to undergo a deep cleaning of all surfaces, officials said.

The announcement comes in the wake of other school closures.

Loyola Academy, a private Jesuit high school at 1100 Laramie Ave. in Wilmette, was closed Monday and Tuesday because a student at the school had contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. School officials said the day would be spent coordinating with public health officials and doing an “enhanced cleaning” of the school.

Classes were canceled at Vaughn Occupational High School for the week beginning Monday, March 9, after a Chicago woman in her 50s who works there as a special education classroom assistant tested positive for coronavirus, marking the sixth case in Illinois.

There have been 11 cases of coronavirus in Illinois as of Monday night. Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide disaster proclamation, making Illinois the 14th state to declare an emergency in response to the outbreak of the respiratory virus. The proclamation will allow Illinois to tap additional state and federal resources to combat the spread of the new virus and better coordinate its response.


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