26 Illinois schools report COVID-19 outbreaks

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FILE – In this Thursday, March 11, 2021 file photo, desks are arranged in a classroom at an elementary school in Nesquehoning, Pa. In the fall of 2021, vaccinated teachers and students should no longer wear masks inside school buildings and no one need bother with them outside, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday, July 9, 2021, in relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

CHICAGO (AP) – More than 25 Illinois schools are reporting COVID-19 outbreaks, mostly in districts that are complying with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s school mask executive order.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday identified 26 schools with COVID-19 outbreaks. The outbreaks reported by the department include those that have been identified by the school’s local health department to have at least two COVID-19 cases among people who may have a shared exposure on school grounds and come from different households.

Glenbrook Elementary School in the Cook County village of Streamwood, which is complying with the governor’s mask mandate, reported between 11 and 16 related cases of COVID-19, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“Due to a COVID outbreak in a fourth/fifth split grade level classroom, we shifted to Distance Learning for this classroom only,” Glenbrook principal Cheryl DeRoo wrote to parents last week.

The classroom is closed until Sept. 7, DeRoo said.

Most of the schools listed as having outbreaks reported fewer than five cases. Carlyle School District 1 east of St. Louis, Missouri, which is on the state’s list of school districts refusing to comply with the statewide indoor mask mandate, reported 16 or more.

A few of the schools reporting outbreaks have been put on probation by the state for ignoring Pritzker’s mask mandate.

Pritzker, responding to a spike in COVID-19 infections fueled by the highly contagious delta variant, announced last week that educators from kindergarten through college now are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing.

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