BREAKING NEWS: A group of Illinois Catholic schools have been shut down due to skyrocketing covid numbers, prompting an ominous question of how long they might be closed, and will Illinois public schools follow?

As of today, all Illinois Quad-Cities Catholic schools have been shut down until at least Aug. 23, and possibly longer, due to rapidly rising BREAKING: Illinois Catholic Schools Shut Down Due To Covid, What's Next?numbers of covid-19 infections in Rock Island County. Those schools include Alleman High School, Rock Island; Jordan Catholic School, Rock Island; Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy, East Moline; and Seton Catholic School, Moline.

The following memo was sent out to all schools from Dr. Sharon Weiss, Superintendent:

In consultation with the principals of the Quad Cities Catholic schools and the Rock Island County Public Health Department, the Office of Catholic Schools has directed the four Catholic schools to delay the opening of the new school year until Monday, August 23, 2021.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines levels of community transmission as the total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 persons in the past seven days; Rock Island County is in the high level (≥100). In addition, the positivity rate for the county is 11.0%.

BREAKING: Illinois Catholic Schools Shut Down Due To Covid, What's Next?Alleman High School opened the 2021-2022 school year today. However, there will be no student attendance during the remainder of the week and classes will resume on Monday, August 23th.

The Office of Catholic Schools will review community transmission levels and positivity rates on Friday, August 20th to determine whether or not schools will open on Monday, August 23rd. A communication will be sent home from each Quad City Catholic school indicating the decision to either open on Monday the 23rd or to delay opening another week and open on August 30th. In other words, we are making decisions week-by-week as long as the transmission levels are HIGH and the positivity rates are HIGH. Regarding sports activities and events, CDC’s guidance indicates that individuals participating in all sports played outdoors may engage in the events and are encouraged to wear a mask if they are not fully vaccinated, particularly in areas of substantial to high transmission.

It is recommended that all student athletes, coaches, trainers, officials, and other adults involved in youth sports activities receive COVID-19 screening testing due to the high community transmission levels in Rock Island County. A decision on sports played indoors will be reviewed on Friday, August 20th and communicated at that time pending the most current transmission levels and positivity rates.

Any questions, please contact your school principal or athletic director. Thank you.

For more information on this ongoing story, continue to check your free, fact-based QuadCities.com.

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BREAKING: Illinois Catholic Schools Shut Down Due To Covid, What's Next?
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.