Oak Park and River Forest High School to resume sports, other activities amid rising COVID cases

Last week, sports and after-school activities at Oak Park and River Forest High School were canceled through winter break due to COVID-19.

But on Monday, the school decided to continue them after protests from parents and students.

Oak Park and River Forest made the cancelation announcement on Friday. Over the weekend, parents and students were protesting.

Protesters said more than 80 percent of students are vaccinated and shutting down after-school activities would be an over-reaction.

Now, the superintendent says instead of shutting down the activities, the school will step up testing and implement more social distancing procedures.

The school is opening up off-campus lunch to all students in order to maintain distance in the lunchroom. The new mitigations will stay in effect through the end of the semester.

The school initially made the call to cancel the activities through winter break because of rising coronavirus cases. Those activities, however, will now resume on Tuesday.

"Every person in the building must wear a KN95 or surgical mask. Students who don’t have their own can get a mask as they enter the building," the school said in a statement.

The school said recently there were nearly 30 new COVID cases, with 17 of them emerging just last week. In a memo to parents, the school said this is four times higher than the overall COVID rate in the area, adding that even though a majority of students and employees are vaccinated, most students are six months past their vaccination date.

One parent wrote to FOX 32 to say school activities were canceled, but more than 3,700 kids could still go to school every day, questioning how that was taking safety into account.


Other parents, however, said they supported the school's decision to cancel activities.