COVID-19 outbreaks hit 26 schools in Illinois

Published September 1, 2021, 12:59 PM

by Xinhua

CHICAGO, United States — The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on Tuesday listed 26 Illinois schools with COVID-19 outbreaks, including several in the suburban Chicago areas, Chicago Tribune reported on Tuesday.

Students of Montrara Ave. Elementary School are seen in their in-person class in Los Angeles, California, the United States. (Xinhua)

While a few schools reporting outbreaks have been put on probation by the U.S. midwest state for flouting Governor J.B. Pritzker’s school mask mandate, most of the recent outbreaks are at school districts that are complying with the executive order.

Outbreaks reported by IDPH include those that have been identified by the school’s local health department to have two or more COVID-19 cases among people who may have a shared exposure on school grounds and are from different households.

Photo taken on Feb. 23, 2021 shows the school billboard of George H. W. Bush Elementary School in Dallas, Texas, the United States. (Xinhua)

Case counts for school-related outbreaks also include those associated with before and after school programs, including school-sponsored activities such as athletic events.

Most of the schools listed as having outbreaks reported fewer than five cases. The criterion for an outbreak was previously five or more cases.

The state’s school COVID-19 data, which is updated weekly, on Tuesday also included 546 schools identified by contact tracers as having “potential” COVID-19 exposures.

The number of public and private schools sanctioned for noncompliance with Governor Pritzker’s school mask mandate also continued to climb this week.

Illinois State Board of Education has reported that since the start of the 2021-22 school year, 62 Illinois school districts are failing to comply with the mask mandate.