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BHS Band Camp Canceled After Student Contracts COVID-19

Bloomington High School entrance
Eric Stock
Students at Bloomington High School band camp have been sent home after band directors learned of a COVID-19 case.

District 87 has canceled its band camp at Bloomington High School after a student who attended the camp tested positive for the coronavirus.
Superintendent Barry Reilly said the district shut down the camp Tuesday afternoon “out of an abundance of caution” as it awaited confirmation of the result from the McLean County Health Department (MCHD).

According to a letter the district is sending to parents, the child who tested positive attended the camp July 27-31. The student was in the high brass group, and wind instruments were not played at camp during this time, the letter stated.

The district said the student has not displayed any symptoms. The letter told parents based on safety measures in place and contact tracing done following the positive test, “there is no need for other band students to quarantine as it is unlikely that students were exposed to the virus.”

Reilly said band directors have strictly enforced safety protocols for the roughly 150 students who have been participating in the outdoor camp.

“They’ve been very conscious and our kids have been very good about this as well to make sure they are following the guidance from ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education), IDPH (Illinois Department of Public Health) and that includes making sure we have groups of no more than 50 (students) that are socially distanced,” Reilly said.

He said the students were required to stay at least 30 feet apart, wear masks whenever possible and bring and use their own water bottles.

“There’s a solid form of communication with parents of kids in the band. They are well aware of those precautions,” Reilly said. “I’m really pleased with their efforts to do all of that.”

MCHD Administrator Jessica McKnight didn’t discuss specifics on this potential COVID-19 case, but added a single case of COVID-19 may not always warrant closing a school or site down.

“McLean County Health Department will provide guidance and assistance to the school and employer specific to each case and situation,” she said in an email.

The health department encouraged participants and instructors to monitor symptoms and get tested if symptoms arise.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.