Local News

Six recent DeKalb County COVID-19 youth outbreaks linked to sports, classrooms, reports IDPH

Since Oct. 28 through Nov. 19, outbreaks in Sandwich, Sycamore, Hiawatha and Hinckley-Big Rock schools, according to Illinois Department of Public Health

School Bus at Huntley Middle School in DeKalb, IL on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

From Oct. 28 through Nov. 19, there were six reported COVID-19 youth outbreaks linked to sports and classrooms in four DeKalb County school districts, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

On Oct. 28, Sandwich Middle School reported an outbreak of five staff and students due to classroom contact.

Hiawatha High School in Kirkland reported an outbreak of five students on Nov. 4 due to sports. Hiawatha Middle School in Kirkland reported two outbreaks, one of 10 students, another of 15 students, both due to classroom contact on Nov. 8.

Also on Nov. 4, Southeast Elementary School in Sycamore reported an outbreak of seven students due to classroom contact.

Hinckley-Big Rock High School first reported an outbreak of less than five students on Nov. 17 due to sports.

An outbreak is identified by the local health department to have three or more COVID-19 cases that may have a shared exposure at a shared youth-related location and are from different households. Outbreak statistics do not include secondary cases occurring in a household member who has not been at the same outbreak location.

COVID-19 case and quarantine data released by local schools is provisional, with most recent statistics varying by district.

As of Nov. 12, there was a 6.8% seven-day positivity rate within DeKalb School District 428 communities, including DeKalb, Malta and Cortland. From Nov. 6 through Nov. 12, one employee tested positive for COVID-19 and 11 students contracted the virus in the DeKalb School District. No employees were quarantined, however 432 students were in quarantine districtwide. Updated data was not available for this week.

According to enrollment numbers from the most recent available Illinois Report Card data, DeKalb School District’s quarantine rate is about 6.7% of its student body population, which was 6,412 in the 2020-2021 school year.

As of Monday in Sycamore Community School District 427, 35 students tested positive for COVID-19, with 43 students excluded in quarantine because of close contact and 122 additional students in quarantine. Six employees tested positive for COVID-19, and six employees were excluded. Sycamore School District’s quarantine rate is about 4.7% of its student body of 3,533, according to the most recent available enrollment data.

The most recent data for Genoa-Kingston School District is as of Nov. 10, which includes statistics from Oct. 29 through Nov. 9. According to a social media post by Superintendent Brent O’Daniell, 10 students tested positive for COVID-19. There are 33 students in quarantine. Six staff members tested positive for COVID-19, and one employee is in quarantine but did not test positive. According to enrollment data, that means about 2.2% of Genoa-Kingston School District’s student population of 1,480 is in quarantine.

Each school district updates its COVID-19 reports at least once a week. In DeKalb, data is collected each Friday and will be updated on the district’s website each Monday, according to the website. In Sycamore, the COVID-19 online data page is updated weekly. Genoa-Kingston’s data is released weekly via a Twitter post from O’Daniell and also is shared on the district’s website.