covid schools

How to Track COVID Outbreaks in Illinois Schools

The data is released every Friday by public health officials in the state

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

As many schools head back to classrooms this fall, health experts say coronavirus cases are expected, but how can you track whether an outbreak has been reported and where?

While some schools offer case trackers of their own, Illinois' health department releases data each week showing COVID outbreaks from the previous 30 days at schools across the state.

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."

The data is released every Friday by public health officials.

Last week, the Illinois Health Department reported at least 81 COVID outbreaks in Illinois schools , including 36 in the Chicago area.

Similarly, Chicago Public Schools has a tracker of its own for outbreaks within the district.

Most recently, the district reported COVID cases in 71 adults and 89 students. The district's numbers are updated each Wednesday.

"This is not a measurement of in-school transmission and as of [Tuesday], the district has not identified any instances of in-school COVID-19 transmission," a spokesperson for CPS said in a statement Tuesday.

The district's reporting was criticized by the Chicago Teachers Union Thursday, however, as some reported it does not "reflect the actual number of cases in our schools."

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