The mom of a Chicago Public Faculties scholar at Jensen Elementary has handed away after battling COVID-19, based on her household, whereas tons of of scholars, together with her personal, have been ordered to quarantine as a result of they have been uncovered to a number of confirmed circumstances of the virus on the college.
The district, which has confronted criticism from the Chicago Academics Union and a few mother and father over its security plan because it reopens full-time this fall, has claimed because the begin of the pandemic that there was little, if any, in-school transmission of the virus, and once more Monday denied discovering any proof that the eight circumstances at Jensen have been handed on to others within the constructing or at residence.
Earlier than she died late final week, Shenitha “Angel” Curry — described by household as “vibrant and outspoken” — mentioned she was pissed off and indignant with the varsity system’s COVID-19 protocols, significantly the contract tracing program which she mentioned by no means reached her for an interview. Curry’s sister mentioned Monday that Curry, who was unvaccinated, informed her in her closing days that she was positive her sickness stemmed from the varsity. Curry’s forty fourth birthday would have been later this week.
Anxiousness was already excessive at Jensen earlier than mother and father discovered of Curry’s loss of life from lecturers and union organizers as they introduced their youngsters to high school Monday. Over the previous two weeks, 205 college students have been despatched residence after they have been recognized as shut contacts to not less than considered one of eight youngsters or educators who contracted the virus, based on district information. That left 11 of the varsity’s 17 lecture rooms in quarantine, with eight lessons as a result of return Monday from their two-week distant studying interval. The Lawndale college enrolls 297 college students, most of whom are too younger to be vaccinated.
Curry’s fifth grade daughter was one of many youngsters who was directed to isolate and set to return this week, however she is staying residence after her mom’s passing on Thursday. Curry additionally has a son in highschool.
CPS officers wrote in an electronic mail to the Jensen group Sunday night that they have been “saddened by the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on our group, and perceive the concern and anxiousness you should be feeling from this tragedy.”
The district didn’t point out Curry’s passing in that message, and spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski mentioned in an electronic mail Monday that CPS is “unable to substantiate or deny stories of well being issues associated to our college students and their relations as a result of federal privateness legal guidelines.”
She added that the Chicago Division Public Well being “continues to assessment the scenario, however right now, and primarily based on the knowledge accessible, together with timing of signs, check dates, and recognized out-of-school exposures, there is no such thing as a proof” that any of the eight Jensen circumstances have been transmitted at school.
District officers visited the varsity Monday and mentioned they deliberate to supply testing on the college by Lurie Kids’s Hospital beginning Tuesday. Testing hasn’t but been performed at Jensen this college 12 months.
A spokeswoman for the Cook dinner County health worker mentioned the workplace hadn’t but acquired discover of Curry’s loss of life from the hospital the place she was admitted, West Suburban Medical Heart in Oak Park, so an official reason behind loss of life hasn’t been decided.
Jensen lecturers and employees wore black Monday and laid roses exterior the varsity to memorialize Curry’s loss of life and one other mom who they mentioned handed away Friday. No particulars have been launched about that mother or her reason behind loss of life.
The 60644 zip code the place Curry lived is within the metropolis’s backside 5 COVID-19 vaccination charges at 48%, metropolis knowledge reveals. Curry herself had vaccine hesitancy for varied causes and had not acquired a shot regardless of underlying medical situations, her sister mentioned.
In a Fb submit Sept. 16, Curry wrote that she first acquired an electronic mail that her daughter was in shut proximity to somebody who examined constructive for COVID-19 and would want to quarantine. She mentioned she then was despatched a textual content telling her contact tracing was full and her daughter’s class would return to high school this Monday.
“Somebody please educate me on how contact tracing is completed,” Curry wrote, saying that no person has “known as my cellphone to see if we have been sick over right here.” At that time, her submit mentioned, she and her daughter had been sick for a couple of days already, though her daughter had gotten higher. In response to a pal’s touch upon her submit, Curry mentioned she may “barely get to the lavatory” as a result of she was so sick.
In an interview Monday, Curry’s sister Jasyma Johnson mentioned Curry went to the emergency room the day she made that Fb submit, and she or he was discharged the identical night time. After a couple of days of battling the virus, Curry went into cardiac arrest that Sunday and was despatched to intensive care, the place she stayed till she handed away Thursday.
Johnson mentioned her sister strictly adopted pandemic mitigation protocols, solely leaving her residence when obligatory and at all times sporting a masks, cleansing her fingers and disinfecting surfaces. She had wished her youngsters to be taught remotely this fall, Johnson mentioned.
“She was simply actually upset that she needed to ship her youngsters to high school as a result of she felt like she knew she was going to be the one who acquired sick. And right here it’s. She acquired sick, and she or he didn’t beat it.”
In the meantime, different mother and father on the college Monday mentioned they have been fearful about their youngsters’s well being.
Latrice Jackson, who has two sons and a daughter at Jensen, was exterior Jensen within the afternoon pulling her sons from college. Jackson’s daughter, in the meantime, has been quarantined for nearly two weeks due to publicity to a confirmed case and is in a classroom that’s as a result of return Wednesday. She has been studying just about in that point.
“I used to be a bit bit [nervous] nevertheless it appeared like they’d every part collectively so far as security,” Jackson mentioned about sending her youngsters again to high school this fall. “However it doesn’t appear to be that anymore. … It’s ridiculous. My youngsters are going residence.”
Jackson mentioned she believes the entire college ought to shut down for 2 weeks for cleansing and quarantining. She wasn’t positive if she’d ship her daughter again this week when her quarantine interval is completed.
“I don’t suppose it’s protected,” Jackson mentioned.
Contributing: Brett Chase