IDPH: 4 COVID-19 outbreaks linked to DeKalb County schools in past week

Sycamore Middle School and Littlejohn Elementary linked to school outbreaks, report state health officials

In the past week, there have been four reported COVID-19 outbreaks in DeKalb County schools, according to weekly school virus outbreak data released on Fridays by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The outbreaks report clusters of fewer than five cases linked to classrooms at Littlejohn Elementary School in DeKalb District 428 and three separate outbreaks linked to classrooms at Sycamore Middle School in District 427. It’s unclear the exact number related to each outbreak, since state officials don’t report specifics.

However, local school data reported by the school districts is provided weekly.

According to Sycamore’s online COVID-19 tracker, the week of Aug. 30 reports 18 students positive, no positive staff cases or staff quarantined, and 134 students quarantined.

In DeKalb, that data shows virus activity as recent as Aug. 27, and is not expected to be updated until Monday.

As of Aug. 27, there is a 6.5% seven-day positivity rate within DeKalb School District communities, including DeKalb, Malta and Cortland. From Aug. 21 through Aug. 27, there were two positive staff cases and 12 positive student cases of COVID-19 in the DeKalb School District. Three staff members and 208 students are in quarantine.

Genoa-Kingston’s numbers also aren’t expected to be updated until Monday. As of Aug. 27, the Genoa-Kingston School District reported five students tested positive for COVID-19. No staff members tested positive, but one was in quarantine, and as of that date 16 students were in quarantine.

Not all these reported cases at the school level are related to outbreaks, however. School outbreaks are identified when two or more cases are linked to the same area or group of people.

How the state outbreak data sets work

All data reported by the state is is provisional and updated only once per week, Fridays, by the state health department. It could differ as such from local COVID-19 case data that is reported by DeKalb County public schools weekly and includes exact case numbers and quarantine numbers.

Specific outbreaks included in the IDPH data sets are from outbreaks that according to the state have been identified by the local health department to have two or more COVID-19 cases, or people who may have shared exposure on school grounds and are from different households.

Case counts for school-related outbreaks also include those in people who associated together in before- and after-school programs, which could include school sports, according to the IDPH website.

The state’s outbreak data does not include secondary cases that may occur in household members who don’t go to the same school or haven’t been on school grounds.

Kelsey Rettke

Kelsey Rettke

Kelsey Rettke is the editor of the Daily Chronicle, part of Shaw Media and DeKalb County's only daily newspaper devoted to local news, crime and courts, government, business, sports and community coverage. Kelsey also covers breaking news for Shaw Media Local News Network.