Local News

Byron schools go on adaptive pause

BYRON — Bryon Community Unit School District 226 announced it will take an adaptive pause starting Wednesday on the advice of the Ogle County Health Department.

Building principals were to implement remote learning plans for the next three school days.

“Like many local schools, we have experienced a significant uptick in cases over the last week, and with the support and recommendations of the Ogle County Health Department, tried our best to mitigate them,” a statement from the school read on its website.

Staff at the school cannot keep up with the increased demands of contact tracing and test-to-stay protocols, the statement read.

A call placed to the Ogle County Health Department was met with a recorded disclaimer that “all staff are working on COVID-related issues” and that it may take several days to respond.

According to updated pandemic data for the 2020-21 school year that was posted on health department website, there have been 167 positive cases, 37 probable cases and 2,188 quarantined cases of students and staff in the school district. There have been 632 students and staff tested, 895 close contacts, 208 close contacts tested and 141 close contacts either positive or probable.

Broken down, there have been 126 student positive cases in the district and 41 staff positive cases. Positive cases by school: 41 students at Byron High School, 30 students at Byron Middle School and 55 students at Mary Morgan Elementary School.

Taken altogether, Byron’s positive and probable cases for COVID-19 constitute 21.8% of cases at all Ogle County schools.

Byron’s extracurricular activities, including those involving the Byron Park District, have been suspended through Dec. 26. That included a holiday concert that was planned for Tuesday evening.

The school said buildings will remain open and crisis response support teams will remain available throughout the week from 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Troy Taylor

Troy E. Taylor

Was named editor for Saukvalley.com and the Gazette and Telegraph in 2021. An Illinois native, he has been a reporter or editor in daily newspapers since 1989.