Illinois Covid Hospitalizations And Cases Roar To New Record, School Closings Skyrocketing
Illinois set a new record for covid hospitalizations, with 7,353 Illinois hospital patients infected with the virus and 1,152 in intensive care unit beds, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. In addition, the cases per day set a new record with 32,173 per day over the past week, and school closings continued to rise this week as districts around the state went to remote learning and Chicago’s teachers remained out of classrooms.
The IDPH reported 28,110 new confirmed and probable cases of covid over the last 24 hours, an increase from the previous day. The state is now averaging 32,173 cases a day over the last week, a new record high. The total cases since the pandemic began is now 2,488,380.
There were 92 new deaths from covid over the past 24 hours, with a state total of 28,660 over the pandemic’s span, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Testing results also set new records, with 347,053 test results over the past 24 hours. Positivity rate was 16.9 percent positive for all individuals tested.
The numbers were just the latest in what seems to be a string of expanding cases, being met with a mix of alarm and ennui depending on the audience. That said, despite Gov. JB Pritzker maintaining that he was not going to call for a statewide school shutdown and return to remote learning, and was leaving the decisions to individual school districts, a growing number of those districts went to remote learning this week and several others have hinted they’re considering the option.
Among the new districts and schools going remote this week across the state are Creve Coeur, LaSalle Elementary, Parkview Middle School, Fieldcrest School District, Auburn School District, Decatur’s Parsons Elementary and Dennis Lab School, and Urbana Middle School.
Schools throughout Chicago are already closed, and have been joined by dozens in surrounding Cook County.
Thousands of students and staff in the Chicagoland area are now in remote learning or going to remote this week, and a group of Quad-Cities area schools — those of the Prophetstown Lyndon Tampico school district — have moved to remote learning and canceled boys basketball due to the massive surge of covid cases in their district, and they might not be the last, as Moline High School and others are experiencing a huge surge as well, and Davenport School District is considering mandating proof of vaccination or covid test for its employees.
Virginia School District in central Illinois has announced it will go to remote learning as well, as schools in that district have 32.9 percent of students testing positive for covid or having had close exposure to someone with the virus.
In addition, Pike County’s Pleasant Hill School district in central Illinois is also going remote, due to an outbreak of cases of both covid and the flu.
Several colleges across the state announced they’ll be going to remote learning at least to begin the next semester in January. Northwestern, DePaul and University of Chicago in Cook County will all begin as remote learning, as will University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign in downstate Champaign and Illinois State University. In addition, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale has told students, faculty and staff that they must test negative for covid-19 within 48 hours of returning to campus, including those who have been vaccinated, and those who have not been vaccinated will have to continue to be tested weekly.
Schools in several major cities around the country including Atlanta and Detroit have also opted to go to remote learning, as many educational systems nationwide decide to shut down in-person instruction amidst record covid numbers.
Statewide there are no plans to reinstate online learning as the decision is typically made at a school district level, Gov. JB Pritzker said.
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