22 more COVID-19 outbreaks at suburban schools
Twenty-two new COVID-19 outbreaks occurred in the past week in suburban schools, the Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting.
Statewide, IDPH is reporting 128 school-related outbreaks, up from 81 a week ago.
Outbreaks are defined as two or more COVID-19 cases linked through a common exposure, which in the case of schools can be in classrooms or sporting events.
IDPH releases new data on school outbreaks only on Fridays via its COVID-19 statistics website, dph.illinois.gov/covid19. Officials said outbreak information can lag in some cases.
"Outbreak information is reported once clusters of cases are confirmed to be linked by location and time, within 14 days," said IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold. "Some outbreaks are pending processing and evaluation, and will be added as more complete information is available. The outbreak information is reported by local health departments to the (state) through an outbreak reporting system."
In Cook County, there are now 14 schools with identified outbreaks, up from 10 a week ago.
Indian Grove Elementary in Mount Prospect is among the four new locations, with the outbreak involving fewer than five of the school's 550-plus students. The other three outbreaks are in the far South suburbs.
In DuPage County, eight new outbreaks were reported. The new outbreaks involved five or fewer cases among staff and students at Churchill Elementary in Glen Ellyn, Calvary Christian in Naperville, Glenn Westlake Middle School in Lombard, North Elementary in Villa Park and St. Francis High School in Wheaton.
Two new outbreaks were reported at Downers Grove South High School and involved classroom exposure that led to five or fewer cases among students in those classrooms. Downers Grove South had reported an outbreak last week attributed to a sporting event. More than 2,700 students attend the high school.
Marklund Day School, a special education school in Bloomingdale, also reported an outbreak of five to 10 cases involving students and staff.
Four new outbreaks were reported at schools in Kane County this week, according to IDPH. There were 11 to 16 cases involving students at Hampshire High School, fewer than five cases among staff and students at Aurora's Illinois Math and Science Academy, fewer than five cases at Kaneland High School in Maple Park and fewer than five cases among students at Willard Elementary in South Elgin.
Six other schools in Kane County had previously reported outbreaks.
In McHenry County, three new outbreaks were reported. Five to 10 cases were reported from an outbreak among students at Chauncey Duker Elementary in McHenry. Edgebrook Elementary in McHenry reported fewer than five cases among staff members. Hannah Beardsley Middle School in Crystal Lake is reporting a second outbreak among five to 10 students.
Besides the previous outbreak reported at Beardsley, three other outbreaks had been reported in McHenry County schools.
In Will County, three more schools reported outbreaks. A week ago, eight schools in Will County were handling outbreaks. The new outbreaks are in schools in Plainfield, Mokena and New Lenox.
Additionally, a Hoffman Estates Christian school with an enrollment of a little more than 100 students has had its state recognition status revoked for not being compliant with the state's mask mandate, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.
The loss of ISBE recognition means students won't be eligible to participate in IHSA sports or the Invest in Kids Act scholarship program, among other consequences.
A letter of noncompliance was sent to the Valeo Academy administrators Wednesday, ISBE records show. Officials from the school did not immediately return calls.
Currently in the suburbs, Bethany Lutheran School in Naperville and Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights are unrecognized by the state board because of noncompliance with the state's indoor mask mandate at schools.