Local News

More than 760 DeKalb County public school students quarantined in past 2 weeks due to COVID-19

And 53 more students tested positive in DeKalb, Sycamore and Genoa-Kingston schools

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

More than 764 local public school students were reported in quarantine over the past two weeks because of possible COVID-19 exposure, and 53 new COVID-19 cases were identified in local students.

That’s according to the most recent available data from Genoa-Kingston, DeKalb and Sycamore schools.

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

There is a 7.6% seven-day positivity rate within DeKalb School District 428 communities, including DeKalb, Malta and Cortland. From Nov. 13 through Nov. 19, two employees tested positive for COVID-19 and 14 students contracted the virus in the DeKalb School District. Two employees were quarantined and 478 students were in quarantine districtwide.

According to enrollment numbers from the most recent available Illinois Report Card data, DeKalb School District’s quarantine rate is about 7.4% of its student body population, which was 6,412 in the 2020-2021 school year.

As of Monday in Sycamore Community School District 427, 25 students tested positive for COVID-19, with 70 students excluded in quarantine because of close contact and 176 additional students in quarantine. Nine employees tested positive for COVID-19, and nine employees were excluded. Sycamore School District’s quarantine rate is about 6.9% 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. 30, which includes statistics from Nov. 22 through Nov. 30. According to a social media post by Superintendent Brent O’Daniell, 14 students tested positive for COVID-19. There are 40 students in quarantine. Three staff members tested positive for COVID-19, but no employees are in quarantine but did not test positive. According to enrollment data, that means about 2.7% 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.

Youth Outbreaks

In the month of November, 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.

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.

Genoa-Kingston Middle School reported an outbreak of five students on Nov. 19 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. Data is updated once a week and was last updated Monday.