There are at least 81 reported COVID outbreaks in Illinois schools as of Friday, including 36 in the Chicago area, according to newly-released data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The data, which is updated weekly and includes cases from the last 30 days, shows Cook County, the largest county in the state, had the highest number of outbreaks in the Chicago area with 10 currently reported.
The outbreaks included ones at Glenbrook Elementary School, which reported as many at 16 cases, and smaller outbreaks of less than five cases at at least nine other schools.
Will County followed with eight outbreaks, Kane reported six, DeKalb and McHenry each have four, and DuPage and LaSalle currently have two.
Many of the outbreaks were reported in classrooms, while others were cited to sporting events.
According to the health department, outbreak information is reported once an investigation is considered complete. An outbreak is defined as"those that have been identified by the local health department to have two or more COVID-19 cases who may have a shared exposure on school grounds and are from different households."
Both Maine East High School, located in Park Ridge, and Oak Park/River Forest High School are among those reporting outbreaks involving five or fewer students.
At Reavis High School in Burbank, an outbreak of fewer than five cases was also reported, and has been linked to sports teams at the school.
At Seneca Grade School in LaSalle County, an outbreak involving fewer than five cases has been reported. While Lincoln Junior High School reported an outbreak of between five and 10 cases.
In Will County, the largest school outbreak involved Reed-Custer Elementary School in Braidwood, where officials are reporting between five and 10 cases of COVID-19 among students.
In Kane County, two outbreaks of up to 10 cases have been reported at Holy Angels Catholic School and Sleepy Hollow Elementary School.
Coronavirus hospitalizations among children have continued to increase in the state of Illinois, with more than 1,200 children having been hospitalized because of COVID-19 in the state since last summer.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Illinois is reporting an average of three new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 children over the last seven days.
That number is tabulated over a seven-day period spanning from Aug. 26 through Sept. 1, according to the CDC. Data collected since that date is still considered “preliminary” by CDC officials, and “should be interpreted with caution.”