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New IDPH metrics cite schools, Kankakee County triggers multiple Warnings

BOURBONNAIS – New metrics released by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Wednesday show Kankakee County triggering multiple warnings for the area.

The new school-related county metrics are available on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website here.  Using data released from the week of August 9th to the 15th, Kankakee County was issued two warnings under the newly released metrics.  

Warnings are based on a school determination of community spread.

The newly released metrics come a day after Gov. J.B. Pritzker placed new restrictions on Region 7 Tuesday, calling it a ‘red alert’ for the area that demanded a renewed effort from the communities.

Over the course of that week, Kankakee County reported 104 new cases of COVID-19, including 13 youth  cases.   Warnings in Kankakee were issued for Test Positivity (5.1%) and New Cases Per 100,000 residents (95). Targeted rates for both categories are 5.0% and 50 cases respectively.

The new data comes as multiple schools across the area announced their plans to go to remote learning over the past 24 hours.  Those include Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School and Momence schools, which made an announcement late Wednesday afternoon in a letter to parents.  Momence Superintendent Shannon Anderson called the decision ‘extremely difficult’.

Both Districts are among several in Kankakee County to report COVID-19 positives among their respective communities.

Kankakee County is no stranger to the New Cases Per 100,000 warning list. For weeks, dating back to July 5th, the County has triggered the category warning.  Only once since the new metrics became available nearly three months ago has Kankakee fallen off that warning list, which targets 50 cases per week. 

That data dates back to June 14th.

Wednesday marked the 5th day of in-person instruction at Bourbonnais Elementary School District #53. Superintendent Dr. Adam Ehrman addressed parents over in-person instruction, warning he ‘can not predict the future.’

“As I mentioned at the Board Meeting last night, I can not predict the future. However, I can predict that we will continue to use a calm approach and analyze all of the health data that impact BESD #53. We will continue to follow the ever-changing IDPH guidelines. These guidelines are strict and the “close contact” definition does unfortunately require many students to be isolated from in-person instruction when we have a positive case.”

Bourbonnais Elementary School District #53 has made no indication of immediately shifting from a blended learning option implemented at the start of the school year.

Kankakee County has reported 92 new cases of COVID-19 since Monday.

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