The spread of COVID-19 among students is forcing Evanston Township High School to cancel all “non-essential events, activities, and meetings” beginning after school Thursday through December 23.

In a website message to the community, District 202 says “We continue to closely monitor the increases in COVID cases at ETHS, and we are making every effort to slow the spread of the virus among students and staff.”

This latest announcement means “non-instructional events, such as extracurricular clubs, sports, etc. will not be held” during the cancellation time frame.

Evanston Now reported yesterday that the YAMO student show as well as girls and boys basketball games against New Trier were called off due to the virus. The cancellations now add in all extracurricular activities.

ETHS says scheduled virtual events will be held, and, if possible, non-virtual events will be rescheduled. As of now, field trips planned during the school day are still on.

The school also says “ETHS staff are also working to keep students involved and engaged in scheduled activities during winter break.”

District 202 reported 53 new COVID cases during the first two days this week. During the first four months of school (through last Friday), ETHS had seen only 52 cases.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.