BREAKING: Illinois Schools Getting Shut Down Again? Officials Calling For Return To Remote Learning
BREAKING NEWS: As the covid-19 delta variant spikes numbers throughout the state of Illinois and schools are hit particularly hard, some
officials and parents are calling to close schools and return to remote learning.
More than 125 schools statewide — including several in the Quad-Cities area — have been hit with significant outbreaks of covid, according to the Illinois Department of Health. As of Friday, 128 outbreaks were active and causing significant absenteeism, according to the IDPH.
Some of the worst outbreaks have been occurring in western and southern Illinois, and among Quad-Cities area schools, those on the list for outbreaks include Colona Grade School, Geneseo High School, Galesburg High School, Knoxville High School and ROWVA High School.
IDPH releases data each week showing COVID outbreaks from the previous 30 days at schools across the state.
Some parents and officials across the state are calling for Gov. JB Pritzker to reinstate remote learning, with some parents in Chicago suburbs protesting to ask for remote learning options.
In suburban Waukegan, parents, students and community members gathered to call for a remote learning option.
“If they don’t feel like it’s safe for their child, then they should have a choice to be able to send their child or not to send their child and continue their children’s education,” said Anita Hanna, a Waukegan school board member, to Chicago’s NBC-TV5.
Illinois health officials reported 26,062 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, along with 197 additional deaths and over 143,000 new vaccine doses administered, according to statistics from Covid-19 Illinois. Nearly every county is now at a ‘warning level’ for Covid-19, and the entirety of Southern Illinois has only one ICU bed available, the site noted. For a county to reach “warning level,” it must have below 20% ICU bed capacity.
In a press conference last week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker spoke somberly, saying “significantly greater mitigations” could be imposed if the numbers continue to decline. This was before the most recent numbers were announced.
“We’re consistently looking at the menu of options that we may need to impose in order to bring down the numbers,” Pritzker said. “I will remind you that if we are not able to bring these numbers down, if hospitals continue to fill, if the hospital beds and ICUs get full like they are in Kentucky -that’s just next door to Illinois – if that happens, we’re going to have to impose significantly greater mitigations.
“We are living in a very dangerous moment of coronavirus, an upswing of the delta variant across the nation and here in Illinois,” he added. “I am deeply concerned especially that the delta variant is having an increasingly serious medical impact on younger people, not just young children who attend school, but older kids in high school and the young teachers who come to work at schools every day and so we’re trying simply to ask people to make sure that people are following a mitigation that we know works.”
In early August, Pritzker announced Illinois students preschool through 12 would be required to wear masks during school and indoor sports and activities, as reported on QuadCities.com. That requirement for kids to wear masks in all schools remains in effect.
For more ongoing coverage of this situation, stay tuned to your free, fact-based alternative media, QuadCities.com.