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East Dubuque suspends workouts, closes schools

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EAST DUBUQUE–The East Dubuque School District announced on its Facebook page that workouts at East Dubuque High School will be suspended until Monday, July 13.

According to the statement, “We have had a number of students report that they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive and we do not want to perpetuate the spread. As of today all workouts are suspended so there will be no workouts tonight. Also, our school buildings will be shut to the public and staff until further notice.”

Potts said the reports came from students who told their coaches they had been exposed to someone who tested positive.

“I was proud of them for reporting, but we felt at that point we needed to do our part to stop the spread,” said superintendent TJ Potts. “We felt like suspending workouts would stop kids from being around other kids that weren’t exposed.”

According to Potts, coaches will send workouts to their players to complete at home.

“They weren’t totally cut-off from getting workouts,” said Potts. “We are hoping the kids quarantine as much as possible.”

Potts said after reports of people in town being exposed came to light, the district decided it would be in their best interest to close down the schools to make sure no one comes in and spreads the virus.

“The day we found out, we told any staff in the building to be out,” said Potts. “We found out in the morning and told people to be out that afternoon. We took everyone’s access to the building away.”

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Potts said custodians sprayed the whole building and especially the workout facility and locked the building down.

“We told staff they can’t return to the building until Tuesday and only for items that they need to get,” said Potts.

Potts said even though the cases didn’t involve any exposure at the elementary school, the district is beginning a deep clean of that building this week.

“We asked staff to stay away until at least Monday, July 13,” said Potts. “On July 13, we will assess and determine if it is safe to come back.”

According to Potts, if the district sees more cases during the closure, the district may suspend workouts for the rest of the summer in order to keep the virus away from the building to ensure a return to school on Aug. 21.

“It is a wait and see on what transpires,” said Potts. “Unfortunately, this week or week and a half will give us direction on where we need to focus for our return to learning.”

High school graduation will still be held on Sunday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the football field. The district will contact families with information.

The final message on the post addressed the start of the school year.

“As you can imagine, people are all over the place in terms of how they feel about their students returning to school, and rightly so,” said the post. “We respect everyone’s opinion as we are all in different situations. Please know that while we monitor what is going on in East Dubuque and the surrounding area, we will make our plans for returning. It is our goal to be back in school on campus in August. While that is the goal, we have to follow the guidelines from the state and local health officials. It is too early to say what school will exactly look like but I do want you to keep the date of August 21 on your calendar. That is the first day of school for students and we do not plan to change that date.”

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