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Local COVID-19 cases jump, state numbers decrease for the first time this summer

Statewide, there was some good news last week as the number of new COVID-19 cases was less than the previous week for the first time since mid-June. Locally, parents remain concerned about infections among school children. Most elementary school students do not qualify to receive vaccines.

Local schools have different methods of presenting COVID-19 data. On its web dashboard, Homewood-Flossmoor High School reports three students have tested positive and two have been quarantined since Sept. 1. There have been 2 cases among staff members and no quarantines for the same period.

District 161 reports that its case positivity rate as of Sept. 10 was 4.09%, which is similar to the Cook County rate of 4.1% and lower than the state’s 4.5% on the same date. The district has 10 active positive cases, two of which were linked to a school, and 1.13% of 355 staff members are currently in quarantine.

District 153’s dashboard noted Monday evening that one staff member tested positive and one was quarantined from Sept. 5 through Sept. 11. During the same period, 16 students tested positive and 46 were quarantined.

, but for the period Aug. 29 through Sept. 4, the district reported seven cases among students and 44 in quarantine. No staff cases or quarantines were reported for the period.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 26,062 new confirmed and probable cases, down from 30,319 the previous week. State officials reported 197 additional deaths, up from the previous week’s 178. Trends in deaths are typically a couple of weeks behind case trends.

Flossmoor saw a spike of new cases, 35 in the week ending Sept. 10, after single-digit increases each week since the Delta variant surge began in mid-June. Homewood also saw a big jump, with 53 new cases.

More than 79% of Illinois adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and more than 62% of Illinois adults are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of Illinois’ total population, more than 66% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and more than 51% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated.

Homewood and Flosssmoor vaccination rates continue to increase slowly and remain ahead of the state rate. In Flossmoor, 61.4% of the population has been vaccinated as of Sept. 10. In Homewood, the rate was 57%.

Another key metric is hospitalizations. As of Sept. 9, 2,346 people were in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 549 patients were in intensive care units, and 311 patients were on ventilators. The number of people in the hospital is higher than the previous week’s total of 2,286, but ICU and ventilator patients were nearly the same.

IDPH cautions that its data are provisional and will change. Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19.

State health officials continue to urge eligible residents to get vaccinated. To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov.

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