IDPH reports 3 more COVID-19 outbreaks in Will County schools

The COVID-19 test positivity rate continues to tick down in Will County, per the latest public heath data

Three more schools in Will County experienced an outbreak of COVID-19, according to the latest public health data.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that a total of 11 outbreaks have occurred in schools in the county within the past month.

Among the schools added to the list this week were Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, which had an outbreak via sports of fewer than five cases among students.

Keith Healy, the dean of students at Providence, said he wasn’t specifically aware of what the IDPH was referencing, but a girls volleyball game had to be canceled last week because of concerns over two students who were thought to have COVID-19.

Troy Middle School and Eichelberger Elementary School in Joliet both reported outbreaks in the past week, according to the IDPH.

The rolling average COVID-19 test positivity rate in Will County has continued to tick down to 5.5% as of Sept. 7, according to the IDPH. Last month, the county’s positivity rate climbed above 7% as the highly contagious delta variant spread throughout the U.S.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Will and Kankakee counties have increased over the past month. As of Thursday, the IDPH reported 124 hospitalizations in the region. One month ago, the number of hospitalizations stood at 74.

Vaccinations against COVID-19 have continued at about 1,100 per day. Nearly 54% of the county’s almost 700,000 residents are fully vaccinated, according to the IDPH.

The Will County Health Department provides information on its website, willcountyhealth.org, for those who want to find the nearest vaccination clinic.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.