Suburban family upset after student not allowed at graduation due to close COVID-19 contact

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ELGIN, Ill. – Four District U46 students will not be walking in their high school graduation ceremony due to close contacts with a COVID-19 case.

Ana Arizmendi received a call Monday that her daughter, Crystal Enriguez, won’t be able to walk this Saturday at Elgin High School’s graduation.

“She’s very sad, she’s like ‘mom I can’t this, was very important to me’ and she’s devastated,” Arizmendi said.

A spokesperson for District U46 said they notified families of their policy back in April.

If a student tests positive for COVID-19 or comes in close contact with a case, they “will not be permitted to participate in the graduation ceremony.”

“She has to be in quarantine for 14 days,” Arizmendi said. “It’s been four days already, she has no symptoms. The risk of getting contagious is very minimum because normally they wear their masks, they’re a couple feet apart.”

The school district said their policy adheres to local county health guidance on COVID-19 and quarantining.

“All week I’ve been calling the nurse the principal, District U46 and I get all the same answers no we’re just following rules,” she said.

A spokesperson said the high school offered to host a private ceremony for the four students or they can walk in the summer graduation ceremony in July.

“We recognize this is a terrible situation for our seniors and we have a lot of empathy for them and for their families. We know this is a challenge for students across the state and country,” they said.

School officials said at least one of the families agreed to an alternative ceremony and they’re hoping to work with others to find a solution.

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