Sean Greene, Amy Cherry
Great Oaks Charter School in Wilmington has become the first Delaware school to announce a COVID-19 related closure, as the result of a staff member travelling to Asia.
The school, inside the Community Education Building in Wilmington, which houses several schools, has also announced it will be shuttered until Monday, March 16, 2020, in what it called an "unplanned closure."
Great Oaks sent a message to parents of students saying they learned a staff member in the Community Education Building traveled to Thailand, with a stopover in South Korea--a country with a Level 3 Travel Advisory due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Upon his return, he went back to work, although he hasn't been in the school since Friday, March 6, 2020.
The messages from Interim School Director Linda Jennings said the staff member has been experiencing flu-like symptoms, but there is no confirmed diagnosis.
They and community education building representatives said they consulted with the Delaware Department of Public Health, that recommended continuing with school until a diagnosis was reached, but the school decided to close until Monday, March 16.
In the meantime, the school will undergo a deep cleaning.
Here's the full message on the Community Education Building's website:
"A staff member within the Community Education Building recently traveled out of the country. The staff member returned to work at the CEB upon return. This person has been out of the building since Friday, March 6th and we learned today that the traveler is experiencing symptoms consistent with the flu. No confirmed diagnosis has been rendered at this time; therefore, the recommendation from Division of Public Health is to continue with school until a firm diagnosis has been rendered. However, after careful consideration of the recommendation, we have decided to err on the side of caution and close until Monday. The building will undergo deep cleaning during this shutdown and will reopen for students, staff and families on Monday, March 16th. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We hope for a speedy recovery for the staff member. The safety and well being of our staff and students remains our highest priority. We are in communication with the Division of Public Health on a daily basis and will continue to communicate information we receive about the impact here in our community as quickly as we can."