Coronavirus

Five McHenry County schools report COVID-19 outbreaks in past week

Illinois reported the most new cases of COVID-19 in a single day Thursday

Leggee Elementary School students head into school, past the "Joy of Learning" sculpture at the main entrance, on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, in Huntley.

Five McHenry County schools reported eight COVID-19 outbreaks in the last week, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Leggee Elementary School in Huntley had reported four additional outbreaks reported Tuesday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. That brings the total number of outbreaks so far this year to six, the most among any McHenry County school or youth organization.

One outbreak involving seven cases among students was tied to the buses, another involving six cases among staff and students was tied to the classroom, and two had five cases each among students and were tied to the classroom, according to the state report Thursday.

Chauncey H. Duker School in McHenry had reported its fourth outbreak of the school year reported Dec. 17, according to IDPH. The most recent outbreak involved fewer than five cases among both staff and students and had its source tied to the classroom.

Alexander Leigh Center For Autism in McHenry and Lake in the Hills Elementary School, part of Community School District 300, had their first outbreaks of the school year reported, both on Tuesday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Both involved fewer than five cases, at Alexander Leigh Center For Autism among both staff and students and at Lake in the Hills Elementary just among students, according to the state. The outbreak was tied to the classroom at Alexander Leigh Center For Autism and a bus at Lake in the Hills and had its source tied to the classroom.

An outbreak was also reported Dec. 17 at Johnsburg High School, its second this year, that involved fewer than five cases among staff and students and was tied to the classroom.

School officials could not be reached for more information Thursday.

Statewide, the Illinois Department of Public Health tallied 18,942 total new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, which is the most in a single day of the pandemic. Another 78 deaths also were logged, bringing the totals to 2,021,302 cases, 27,435 confirmed deaths and 3,131 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported a total of 84,551 cases and 1,139 deaths Thursday. To the south, Kane County’s health department reported 80,556 cases and 938 deaths as of Wednesday.

McHenry County will not update COVID-19 dashboard Thursday or Friday ahead of the Christmas holiday, but as of Wednesday was reporting a high level of COVID-19 transmission locally.

The seven-day positivity rate for the county rose to 8.9% Monday, the last date for which data is available, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. That remains below the last peak of 9.4% on Dec. 1, but the positivity rate has been increasing over the last week.

The positivity rate for the region including both McHenry and Lake counties rose to 7% Monday, according to IDPH.


About 15% of intensive care unit beds remained available in McHenry and Lake counties as of Wednesday, the most in five days, per the IDPH. It’s above last week’s low of 12%, the least ICU availability ever recorded in the two-county region through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, IDPH data shows.

ICU bed availability has been under the 20% threshold for 20 straight days. This threshold previously was used by the state as a trigger point for implementing stricter health mitigations.

Overall, the seven-day average of COVID-19 hospitalizations increased five of the past 10 days in the two-county region, decreasing each of the last five. It dropped to 227 Wednesday, on par with the level of hospitalizations in January.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 increased Wednesday to 4,271, the IDPH reported. Of those hospitalized Wednesday, 867 patients were in the ICU and 485 were on ventilators.

An additional 1,702 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to McHenry County residents Wednesday, according to the IDPH, bringing the total number administered locally to 452,348. The state reported that 70,011 booster shots were administered in McHenry County.

A total of 188,151 county residents, or an estimated 60.98% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 18,853,953 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 76.3% of those age 5 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, and 68% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Thursday. Those rates are 81.1% and 73% for those age 12 and older, 82.8% and 74.5% for people 18 and older, and 95% and 86.9% for those 65 and older, respectively.