COVID-19 update: 11 outbreaks in suburban schools in the last 30 days
School-related outbreaks of COVID-19 in the suburbs totaled 11 in the last 30 days, an increase from earlier tallies this spring, Illinois Department of Public Health records showed Thursday.
Of those outbreaks, defined as five or more COVID-19 cases, the state listed sports as the source of five and classrooms as the source of six.
Suburban Cook County had three outbreaks, DuPage County had four, and McHenry and Will counties both had two outbreaks. Kane and Lake counties had no outbreaks in the last 30 days.
Schools where outbreaks occurred included: Beecher Junior High School, Benet Academy in Lisle, Calvary Christian School in Naperville, Glenbard North High School, Homewood Flossmoor High School, Huntley High School, Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, Timothy Christian Middle School in Elmhurst, and Valley View Elementary School in McHenry.
On April 20, there were nine school-related outbreaks in a 30-day period, with five related to sports.
"Most of the data has shown there's been very little in-school spread especially when students are all masked and appropriately distanced, which is now 3 feet or more," said pediatrician Michael Bauer, medical director at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital.
"It really comes from outside of the school, especially in sports settings. That's why it's still critical to follow the guidelines for unvaccinated people versus vaccinated people."
Children age 11 and younger are currently not eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.
However, Bauer said, "if you look at a situation where students are close together, unmasked, because they were eating in clusters and had a potential exposure within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more -- that's where you get indoor spread. In schools, where students are masked and distanced, it's been shown to be very safe."
New cases of COVID-19 totaled 891 Thursday, with 42 more deaths from the respiratory disease, the IDPH reported.
The state's seven-day average case positivity rate dropped to 1.9%.
Federal data shows 66% of adult Illinoisans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, and nearly 50% of those 18 and older are fully vaccinated.
On Wednesday, 63,717 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 67,485.
So far, 11,113,382 shots have been administered across Illinois, and 5,175,214 people -- 40.6% of Illinois' population -- have been fully vaccinated. Vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna require two doses several weeks apart.
Illinois hospitals were treating 1,316 COVID-19 patients Wednesday night.
Total cases statewide stand at 1,379,279, and 22,718 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.
Labs processed 67,705 virus tests in the last 24 hours.