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Schools continue war against COVID-19 after student, staff member die in Kankakee 

Cases among Kankakee staff are up 33% in recent weeks

KANKAKEE – Cases continue to rise among youths in the area as 220 students and adults are now quarantined in Kankakee schools for COVID-19.

Updated numbers were released Tuesday night during a school board meeting by Kankakee School District #111 Superintendent Dr. Geneva Walters.

“As of today, October 12th, we had 27 adults that have tested positive for COVID, 77 students tested positive for a total of 104.” Dr. Walters reported Tuesday. “In terms of adults in quarantined, we have three adults quarantined and 113 students quarantined for a total of 30 adults and 190 students. We have 220 adults and students quarantined at this time.”

The number of positive cases among students and staff has increased in recent weeks by 21% in Kankakee schools. Since September 27th, cases among students have jumped just over 17% (64 cases) while cases among staff are up 33% (18 cases).

The latest data came just over a week after it was confirmed a junior high student and staff member of District 111 had died after becoming hospitalized by the virus.

Kankakee schools have continued to allow students to learn by remote or hybrid learning options this year.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports nearly all Illinois Counties are currently labeled as a High Transmission spot. From September 26th to October 2nd, Kankakee County had reported 333 newly positive cases among area youth, which is considered substantial. 

A case rate greater than 100 falls into the substantial warning category. The Kankakee County Health Department reported Tuesday 22% (32 cases) of all newly reported cases were among children under the age of 18.

Last month, small outbreaks were reported by 11 schools in the area, including four area high schools.

As of this week, 2,556 children (28.39%) in the County had been reported as fully vaccinated, while 2,860 children (31.76%) have been reported receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.  

According to IDPH, only one outbreak among students and staff has been confirmed this month at the Bourbonnais Upper Grade Center on October 1st, which involved less than five cases and was associated with a sporting event.

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