Sycamore

Nearly 100 Quarantined After COVID ‘Outbreak' Reported at Sycamore School, Supt. Says

The district, which has roughly 3,480 students overall, reported 17 positive cases at that time

COVID-19 Testing tubes
NBC 7

Nearly 100 students are in quarantine after at least 17 tested positive for coronavirus in a suburban school district, officials said.

According to Sycamore Community School District 427, 97 students were quarantine as of Friday, 54 of which had close contact with a positive case.

The district, which has roughly 3,480 students overall, reported 17 positive cases at that time.

"A large portion of those quarantines were due to what the local [health department] identified as an 'outbreak' at our Middle School," Supt. Steve Wilder told NBC 5 in an emailed statement.

No positive cases or quarantines are currently reported in staff, according to the district's COVID dashboard.

Under district protocols "any student who has not been fully vaccinated, and has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should quarantine."

"We've had a very positive start to the school year despite still dealing with some COVID challenges," Wilder said. "We aren't out of the pandemic yet, so we expected cases this year. Unfortunately, it has become part of how we operate. However, we're continuing to focus on the positive that students are back in person learning and we are looking forward to welcoming all of those students back as soon as possible."

The Sycamore district isn't the only one reporting cases and quarantines due to COVID exposure as schools return to in-person learning.

An Indiana school district recorded 50 new positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff last week, causing over 700 people to be quarantined due to close contact. The district reported it has 9,821 students and staff across portions of northwest Indiana.

At least two students who attend Algonquin-based Community Unit District 300 have been hospitalized for COVID-19 and another 48 have tested positive for the virus, according to the district's superintendent. Approximately 20,000 students attend the district, which covers several suburban communities including Carpentersville, Hampshire, Pingree Grove and West Dundee.

Chicago's top doctor said COVID cases in schools are expected.

Addressing crowding concerns during a press conference Tuesday, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said similar scenes have been reported across the U.S., "even before a vaccine was available."

"And somewhat to people's surprise, we didn't see that driving major outbreaks," she said. "There will be cases don't get me wrong, but I expect no cases to broadly track what we're seeing in the general community among COVID. There's also going to be a lot more testing of children I expect, so in that setting we'll probably see an increase of cases because we're doing a better job of detecting kids who may be asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic. So those numbers will also go up for that reason, but I remain, you know, based on absolutely everything we know, really convinced that we absolutely can be in school safely."

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