CHICAGO (CBS) — Amid a steep rise on COVID-19 cases, the Highland Park School District in Lake County emailed parents Tuesday saying it is switching to all remote learning.
That change takes effect on Wednesday. It comes after a recommendation from the Lake County Health Department.
A similar recommendation has been issued by the DuPage County Health Department, leading to a delay in students returning to the classroom in Naperville School District 203.
“Given the activity of disease within the community, it will get increasingly harder to keep kids the classroom and bring kids together in schools,” said Karen Ayala, executive director of the DuPage County Health Department.
Still, many schools in DuPage County are open, and the health department says it’s impressed with the protocols they have in place to protect students.
The regional schools superintendent insists the schools are safe.
“I would say you name it, we’ve done it,” said DuPage County Regional Schools Supt. Dr. Darlene Ruscitti. “I feel really confident in a lot of ways that our schools are in a very good place.
The DuPage County Health Department said COVID-19 cases there have jumped from 35 per 100,000 residents in late June, to 100 cases per 100,000 now.
DuPage is one of four counties, along with Kane, Will, and Kankakee, that will have to halt indoor service starting Friday, as the state announced tougher COVID-19 restrictions for much of the Chicago suburbs due to a resurgence of the virus throughout the state.
“We have a deadly virus that is still prevalent throughout the state of Illinois. Let’s please get together, band together, because none of us can do this alone. Individualism won’t get us through this pandemic. We have to get through this together,” said Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
Gov. JB Pritzker said the added mitigations in Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties) and Region 8 (DuPage and Kane counties) were triggered when both regions surpassed a 7-day average positivity rate of 8% for three days in a row. Region 7’s positivity rate stands at 8.6%, and Region 8’s rate is now at 9%.