Dearborn school to close temporarily after staff member was exposed to coronavirus

Officials with Dearborn Public Schools said the Whitmore-Bolles Elementary School is closing temporarily because a staff member came in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

“This staff member was in contact with a person with a confirmed case. This staff member only works at Whitmore-Bolles,” Superintendent Glenn Maleyko said during a news conference.

It’s the first Michigan school to close in the wake of the announcement Tuesday of the first two cases of the coronavirus in the state.

That staff member will be tested, he said.

The closure is only for Thursday, but could be extended depending on when the results of that test are completed.

Maleyko said Wayne County health department said the school is at a low risk. 

“However, out of an abundance of caution, we are going to close [the school] until the test results are confirmed.”

Maleyko said staff will deep clean all surfaces in the school “to ensure an extra level of safety.” They’ll be assisted by a cleaning company that has expertise in communicable diseases. 

Hussein Berry, president of the Dearborn school board, said he is comfortable with the district’s decision.

“I’m extremely confident the decision made today was the a good decision. I can sleep well tonight,” Berry said.

Maleyko said no other schools in the district are at risk, though he noted that the situation with coronavirus is fluid everywhere and could change. He said that while the news may be unsettling to some, the best course of action is to remain informed and follow preventative steps to avoid the virus.