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Forty-seven Monticello residents tested positive for COVID-19 during one five-day stretch last week, according to new testing totals released early Monday evening by the Dewitt Piatt Bi-County Health Department.

The new data covers the period that began six days ago, Tuesday. It’s the department’s first update since last Wednesday.

All told, Piatt County had 139 new cases between Tuesday and Saturday, pushing its total to 582. Here’s a breakdown by day:

Tuesday, Nov. 10: 33 new cases

16 new cases in Monticello, 8 in Cerro Gordo, 3 in Mansfield, 2 in White Heath, 2 in La Place, 1 in Atwood, 1 in Bement,

Wednesday, Nov. 11: 23 new cases

9 new cases in Monticello, 4 in Bement, 4 in Cerro Gordo, 3 in White Heath, 1 in Atwood, 1 in Hammond, 1 in Mansfield.

Thursday, Nov. 12: 45 new cases

12 new cases in Monticello, 10 in Mansfield, 10 in Cerro Gordo, 5 in Bement, 3 in Cisco, 2 in White Heath, 1 in La Place, 1 in Hammond, 1 in Atwood.

Friday, Nov. 13: 28 new cases

10 new cases in Bement, 6 in Cerro Gordo, 5 in Monticello, 3 in Atwood, 1 in Mansfield, 1 in Cisco, 1 in Hammond, 1 in White Heath.

Saturday, Nov. 14: 10 new cases

5 new cases in Monticello, 2 in Cerro Gordo, 2 in White Heath, 1 in Bement.


DOUGLAS COUNTY: 27 new cases, 1,179 total

The number of confirmed cases in Douglas County grew by 27 Monday, to 1,179.

The cases ranged in age from 1 to 70s:

  • A 1-year-old girl
  • An 8-year-old boy
  • A 12-year-old girl
  • Three women and two men in their 20s
  • Four men and two women in their 30s
  • Two women in their 40s
  • Three women and one man in their 50s
  • Two men in their 60s
  • Two women in their 70s

Monday Vermilion

VERMILION COUNTY: 47 new cases, 29 residents hospitalized

The number of confirmed cases in Vermilion County grew by 47 Monday, to 2,267.

After 28 residents were released from isolation, Vermilion’s active case count stands at 324.

There are 29 COVID-positive residents hospitalized, unchanged from the weekend.

How the new cases break down by age:

  • Two residents in their 80s
  • Two in their 70s
  • 12 in their 60s
  • Five in their 50s
  • Six in their 40s
  • Four in their 30s
  • Eight in their 20s
  • Five teens
  • Three grade-school-aged children

Ezike Monday

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike warns Illinoisans to rethink Thanksgiving plans that include mixing households and travel.

PRITZKER: 'We can expect much worse to come if mitigation measures aren't followed leading into Thanksgiving'

Reports Jerry Nowicki, bureau chief of our Springfield-based news partner, Capitol News Illinois:

Illinoisans should stay home as much as possible, wear face coverings and rethink their Thanksgiving plans as hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to rise, state officials reiterated Monday.

“We are in for a rough ride for the next three months or so,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said at a COVID-19 briefing Monday. “Just how bumpy it really gets depends on each of us. Let's hang in there together and be all in for Illinois.”

She warned that Illinoisans should rethink Thanksgiving plans that include travel or mixing households and should consider virtual get-togethers and dropping off food at a family member’s doorstep instead of gathering in person.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned that current hospitalization trends, if left to grow at the pace they have been for several weeks, could overwhelm the hospital system, noting, “we have just 1,100 ICU beds open in a state of nearly 13 million people in the middle of a pandemic.”

“If we wait to take action until our hospitals are full, it will be too late, and countless patients — COVID patients as well as those with all the other ailments and injuries that bring people to the hospital — will die unnecessary deaths, because there aren't enough beds or people to staff them.”

The calls came as hospitalizations for COVID-19 increased for the 22nd straight day as of Sunday night, setting a new pandemic high with 5,581 hospital beds in use by COVID-19 patients. The average daily usage from Monday, Nov. 9, to Sunday, Nov. 15, was 5,268, an increase of 1,225 or 30 percent from the week prior.

As hospital bed usage continued to blow past previous pandemic highs, intensive care bed usage neared past highs as well, with 1,144 ICU beds in use by COVID-19 patients at the end of Sunday. That number had increased for 11 straight days, and the 1,002 beds used on average daily from Nov. 9-15 marked an increase 203 or 25 percent from the previous week. The one-day usage was the highest since May 16.

Ventilator usage for COVID-19 hit its highest point since June 3 with 514 ventilators in use at the end of Sunday. Average daily usage from Nov. 9-15 was up 113 or 32 percent from the week prior.

Ezike and Pritzker appeared at their daily briefing in Chicago along with a pair of hospital administrators that called for statewide participation to slow virus spread but also encouraged Illinoisans not to be afraid of visiting the hospital should serious illness arise from COVID-19 or other medical conditions.

Dr. Michael Kulisz, an emergency medical specialist and chief medical officer at Northwestern Medicine, said two hospitals he’s affiliated with in Region 1 of the state’s mitigation plan in northwest Illinois have more than doubled the peaks of the spring.

“It's important for the community to understand that each of the hospitals is a safe place to come to,” he said. “I know early in the pandemic, some patients opted to stay home because of the fear that it wasn't safe at the hospital, but the hospitals have put a lot of things in place, including (personal protective equipment), hand washing stations, and visitor policies that does make it safe for patients to come.”

Still, he said, as the positivity rate in Region 1 hovers around 20 percent, community members should avoid exposure to COVID-19 by staying in when possible, keeping distance from others, masking and washing hands.

Ruth Colby, president and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, echoed Kulisz, noting that several hospital workers and nurses have had to quarantine because of virus exposure in the community.

“My message is that every time someone in the community does not wear a mask or observe the other safety precautions you've outlined, that creates the potential for a health care worker to contract COVID, and we're urging everyone in the community to please, please help us stem the growth of this disease, especially over the holidays,” she said.

Pritzker warned that reinforcements in terms of medical professionals from other states are not likely to arrive during this wave since the COVID-19 surge appears to be nationwide.

“We can expect much worse to come if mitigation measures aren't followed leading into Thanksgiving,” he said, noting the state continues to monitor the need for field hospitals.

From Saturday to Monday, the state reported an average of 11,097 new cases among 96,604 tests reported each day, making for a three-day positivity rate of 11.5 percent. The rolling seven-day average case positivity rate decreased to 12.5 percent over that span.

The state reported 275 deaths over the three-day period, bringing the death toll since the pandemic began to 10,779 among 585,248 confirmed and probable cases and more than 9.1 million test results reported.

Pritzker noted there was “wonderful news on the vaccine front” Monday as pharmaceutical company Moderna announced it had a vaccine with an early success rate nearing 95 percent. But he noted that candidate and a vaccine from Pfizer still must pass future phases relevant to their safety and efficacy before they are used. And even then, it could be well into 2021 before a vaccine becomes widely available.

“We have real hope for possible widespread distribution by early spring,” Pritzker said. “Still, that's months away. So we have to let that inspire us not to give up, and to take more precautions for ourselves and for our health care workers. Let's do all that we can to save lives now, so that more Illinoisans, more Americans will be here when the vaccine is here.”


Monday UI positivity

UI: Seven-day positivity rate falls to 0.4 percent

The seven-day positivity rate on campus fell from 0.5 to 0.4 percent Monday.

Twenty-one new cases emerged from 6,280 new tests Sunday on campus, a rate of 0.3 percent, according to data updated Monday.

Since Aug. 24, when classes began, there have been 3,425 unique cases of COVID-19 on the UI campus.

Since Aug. 16, when move-in week kicked off, there have been 3,707 cases.

Here’s a daily breakdown of tests and unique cases since students began reporting to campus in mid-August, according to the UI’s COVID-19 dashboard:

  • Sunday, Nov. 15: 6,280 new tests, 21 new cases
  • Saturday, Nov. 14: 4,639 new tests, 12 new cases
  • Friday, Nov. 13: 11,351 new tests, 32 new cases
  • Thursday, Nov. 12: 9,715 new tests, 34 new cases
  • Wednesday, Nov. 11: 11,071 new tests, 50 new cases
  • Tuesday, Nov. 10: 10,324 new tests, 57 new cases
  • Monday, Nov. 9: 11,800 new tests, 76 new cases
  • Sunday, Nov. 8: 5,339 new tests, 29 new cases
  • Saturday, Nov. 7: 4,016 new tests, 21 new cases
  • Friday, Nov. 6: 10,429 new tests, 48 new cases
  • Thursday, Nov. 5: 8,895 new tests, 60 new cases
  • Wednesday, Nov. 4: 11,537 new tests, 80 new cases
  • Tuesday, Nov. 3: 5,941 new tests, 40 new cases
  • Monday, Nov. 2: 11,956 new tests, 82 new cases
  • Sunday, Nov. 1: 4,823 new tests, 17 new cases
  • Saturday, Oct. 31: 3,522 new tests, 9 new cases
  • Friday, Oct. 30: 10,787 new tests, 39 new cases
  • Thursday, Oct. 29: 8,980 new tests, 27 new cases
  • Wednesday, Oct. 28: 9,579 new tests, 34 new cases
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27: 10,294 new tests, 36 new cases
  • Monday, Oct. 26: 11,112 new tests, 74 new cases
  • Sunday, Oct. 25: 4,935 new tests, 23 new cases
  • Saturday, Oct. 24: 3,870 new tests, 15 new cases
  • Friday, Oct. 23: 9,284 new tests, 22 new cases
  • Thursday, Oct. 22: 8,581 new tests, 23 new cases
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21: 9,639 new tests, 20 new cases
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20: 9,964 new cases, 18 new cases
  • Monday, Oct. 19: 10,611 new tests, 18 new cases
  • Sunday, Oct. 18: 4,320 new tests, 6 new tests
  • Saturday, Oct. 17: 3,666 new tests, 2 new cases
  • Friday, Oct. 16: 9,700 new tests, 9 new cases
  • Thursday, Oct. 15: 7,777 new tests, 9 new cases
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14: 9,322 new tests, 11 new cases
  • Tuesday, Oct. 13: 10,057 new tests, 14 new cases
  • Monday, Oct. 12: 9,573 new tests, 23 new cases
  • Sunday, Oct. 11: 4,358 new tests, 8 new cases
  • Saturday, Oct. 10: 3,574 new tests, 11 new cases
  • Friday, Oct. 9: 9,867 new tests, 10 new cases
  • Thursday, Oct. 8: 7,953 new tests, 14 new cases
  • Wednesday, Oct. 7: 9,780 new tests, 21 new cases
  • Tuesday, Oct. 6: 10,369 new tests, 25 new cases
  • Monday, Oct. 5: 11,142 new tests, 48 new cases
  • Sunday, Oct. 4: 4,374 new tests, 7 new cases
  • Saturday, Oct. 3: 3,851 new tests, 9 new cases
  • Friday, Oct. 2: 10,765 new tests, 18 new cases
  • Thursday, Oct. 1: 7,577 new tests, 27 new cases
  • Wednesday, Sept. 30: 10,354 new tests, 32 new cases
  • Tuesday, Sept. 29: 10,637 new tests, 36 new cases
  • Monday, Sept. 28: 10,736 new tests, 36 new cases
  • Sunday, Sept. 27: 4,408 new tests, 28 new cases
  • Saturday, Sept. 26: 3,892 new tests, 17 new cases
  • Friday, Sept. 25: 11,090 new tests, 41 new cases
  • Thursday, Sept. 24: 9,086 new tests, 27 new cases
  • Wednesday, Sept. 23: 9,671 new tests, 28 new cases
  • Tuesday. Sept. 22: 11,030 new tests, 62 new cases
  • Monday, Sept. 21: 10,474 new tests, 42 new cases
  • Sunday, Sept. 20: 4,383 new tests, 11 new cases
  • Saturday, Sept. 19: 4,133 new tests, 13 new cases
  • Friday, Sept. 18: 10,564 new tests, 27 new cases
  • Thursday, Sept. 17: 7,802 new tests, 18 new cases
  • Wednesday, Sept. 16: 9,965 new tests, 24 new cases
  • Tuesday, Sept. 15: 11,232 new tests, 45 new cases
  • Monday, Sept. 14: 10,214 new tests, 40 new cases
  • Sunday, Sept. 13: 4,568 new tests, 17 new cases
  • Saturday, Sept. 12: 4,009 new tests, 10 new cases
  • Friday, Sept. 11: 11,253 new tests. 35 news cases
  • Thursday, Sept. 10: 6,626 new tests, 34 new cases
  • Wednesday, Sept. 9: 11,993 new tests, 47 new cases
  • Tuesday, Sept. 8: 11,621 new tests, 81 new cases
  • Monday, Sept. 7: 6,299 new tests, 69 new cases
  • Sunday, Sept. 6: 2,987 new tests, 37 new cases
  • Saturday, Sept. 5: 2,609 new tests, 37 new cases
  • Friday, Sept. 4: 14,204 new tests, 104 new cases
  • Thursday, Sept. 3: 14,841 new tests, 88 new cases
  • Wednesday, Sept. 2: 7,089 new tests, 120 new cases
  • Tuesday, Sept. 1: 14,367 new tests, 199 new cases
  • Monday, Aug. 31: 17,227 new tests, 230 new cases
  • Sunday, Aug. 30: 3,640 new tests, 104 new cases
  • Saturday, Aug. 29: 2,895 new tests, 50 new cases
  • Friday, Aug. 28: 15,030 new tests, 65 new cases
  • Thursday, Aug. 27: 15,123 new tests, 60 new cases
  • Wednesday, Aug. 26: 6,812 new tests, 54 new cases
  • Tuesday, Aug. 25: 15,850 new tests, 89 new cases
  • Monday, Aug. 24: 17,656 new tests, 79 new cases
  • Sunday, Aug. 23: 4,474 new tests, 53 new cases
  • Saturday, Aug. 22: 3,326 new tests, 43 new cases
  • Friday, Aug. 21: 10,877 new tests, 54 new cases
  • Thursday, Aug. 20: 10,742 new tests, 52 new cases
  • Wednesday, Aug. 19: 6,300 new tests, 29 new cases
  • Tuesday, Aug. 18: 6,162 new tests, 20 new cases
  • Monday, Aug. 17: 9,064 new tests, 24 new cases
  • Sunday, Aug. 16 2,453 new tests, 7 new cases

Monday region lede

REGION 6: Champaign County seven-day rate is lowest (9.6%), Effingham has highest (25.0%)

Region 6’s seven-day positivity rate rose again Monday — from 13.6 to 14.0 percent.

For Tier 1 mitigation measures to be lifted, the region that includes Champaign, Douglas, Ford, Piatt, Vermilion and 16 other counties must have three consecutive days of a rate under 6.5 percent.

More likely as the region wraps up its second week of advanced restrictions: It will be subject to additional Tier 2 measures, with an announcement coming from the state early this week.

The metrics the state uses cover a period that ends three days earlier (figures posted Monday are through Nov. 13) and exclude data from the UI campus’ massive saliva testing (if UI tests were included, the region’s rate would be 5.3 percent, unchanged from a day earlier).

A look at how the rate has grown over time:

  • Oct. 26: 8.4 percent
  • Oct. 27: 8.6 percent
  • Oct. 28: 9.0 percent
  • Oct. 29: 9.3 percent
  • Oct. 30: 9.5 percent
  • Oct. 31: 9.9 percent
  • Nov. 1: 10.0 percent
  • Nov. 2: 10.0 percent
  • Nov. 3: 10.2 percent
  • Nov. 4: 10.2 percent
  • Nov. 5: 10.8 percent
  • Nov. 6: 11.3 percent
  • Nov. 7: 11.9 percent
  • Nov. 8: 12.2 percent
  • Nov. 9: 12.7 percent
  • Nov. 10: 13.0 percent
  • Nov. 11: 13.5 percent
  • Nov. 12: 13.6 percent
  • Nov. 13: 14.0 percent
Monday county positivity without UI

Below is a look at the rolling seven-day rates of the 21 counties that make up Region 6, and how those rates compare to the previous day after Nov. 13 testing was factored in:

  • Effingham: 25.0 percent (+1.8), 61 of 150 tests positive (40.7% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Fayette: 24.7 percent (unchanged), 20 of 115 tests positive (17.4% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Iroquois: 21.1 percent (+0.7), 59 of 289 tests positive (20.4% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Clay: 20.6 percent (+2.3, 36 of 133 tests positive (27.1% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Cumberland: 19.8 percent (+2.9), 6 of 26 tests positive (23.1% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Macon: 16.7 percent (+0.6), 154 of 770 tests positive (20.0% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Richland: 16.7 percent (-0.9), 0 of 38 tests positive (0.0% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Shelby: 16.6 percent (+1.5), 25 of 134 tests positive (18.7% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Jasper: 16.4 percent (-0.5), 7 of 45 tests positive (15.6% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Piatt: 15.3 percent (-1.0), 19 of 177 tests positive (10.7% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Clark: 14.8 percent (+0.2), 5 of 37 tests positive (13.5% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • DeWitt: 14.5 percent (-0.7), 5 of 68 tests positive (7.4% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Vermilion: 14.5 percent (+0.5), 91 of 590 tests positive (15.4% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Lawrence: 14.0 percent (-0.2), 12 of 79 tests positive (15.2% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Coles: 13.5 percent (+0.2), 25 of 191 tests positive (13.1% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Edgar: 12.9 percent (+0.6), 8 of 47 tests positive (17.0% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Douglas: 11.8 percent (-0.3), 8 of 96 tests positive (8.3% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Ford: 10.7 percent (-0.5), 28 of 312 tests positive (9.0% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Crawford: 10.6 percent (+1.2), 32 of 209 tests positive (15.3% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Moultrie: 9.8 percent (+2.3), 19 of 114 tests positive (16.7% daily rate) on Nov. 13
  • Champaign: 9.6 percent* (+0.1), 143 of 1,424 tests positive (10.0% daily rate) on Nov. 13

*-If the UI’s saliva testing results were included in the state’s count, Champaign County’s seven-day rate would be 2.1 percent, unchanged overnight.


Monday county active

URBANA: Park district suspends indoor activities

The Urbana Park District is halting indoor activities for at least the next three weeks due to rising coronavirus cases in the community.

The suspension takes effect at 5 p.m. Monday, the district announced, and includes:

— All indoor fitness programs at Phillips Recreation Center and Brookens Gym.

— Indoor lap swim, water exercise classes and swim team at Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center.

— Indoor facility rentals.

— Walk-in traffic at indoor facilities.

In Monday’s announcement, the park district said it will re-evaluate the situation on Dec. 7, adding that “staff will be in contact with people who have signed up for classes and programming during this suspension.”

The move does not affect outdoor parks.


Monday county cases

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY: 67 new cases, two more hospitalized

Of 7,396 new tests, 67 came back positive Monday in Champaign County.

Of greater concern: the number of COVID-positive residents hospitalized, which rose by two from the weekend, to 12.

Other county numbers of note:

— Recovered cases now outnumber active cases, 7,373 (up 113 from Sunday) to 772 (down 46).

— Close contacts in quarantine were down by by 101, to 1,348.

— The number of lives lost remained 39.

Here’s an updated rundown of county ZIP codes with active cases followed by their total number of cases, according to C-U Public Health District data:

  • 61820/Champaign: 176 active (down 19 from Sunday), 3,175 total (up 16)
  • 61821/Champaign: 89 active (down 17), 880 total (up two)
  • 61822/Champaign: 87 active (down three), 688 total (up five)
  • 61802/Urbana: 83 active (down five), 587 total (up four)
  • 61801/Urbana: 77 active (down three), 776 total (up 11)
  • 61866/Rantoul: 57 active (down one), 675 total (up five)
  • 61853/Mahomet: 56 active (up four), 350 total (up six)
  • 61874/Savoy: 33 active (up two), 231 total (up six)
  • 61880/Tolono: 24 active (down five), 151 total (up nine)
  • 61873/St. Joseph: 21 active (up two), 190 total (up three)
  • 61847/Gifford: 14 active (down one), 49 total (up three)
  • 61864/Philo: 8 active (down one), 55 total (up one)
  • 61849/Homer: 8 active (up one), 34 total (up one)
  • 61843/Fisher: 7 active (up one), 76 total (up one)
  • 61877/Sidney: 4 active (down one), 48 total (unchanged)
  • 61859/Ogden: 4 active (down two), 25 total (unchanged)
  • 61862/Penfield: 4 active (unchanged), 21 total (unchanged)
  • 61878/Thomasboro: 3 active (unchanged), 35 total (unchanged)
  • 61840/Dewey: 3 active (unchanged), 11 total (unchanged)
  • 61863/Pesotum: 2 active (unchanged), 25 total (unchanged)
  • 61875/Seymour: 2 active (unchanged), 18 total (unchanged)
  • 61872/Sadorus: 2 active (unchanged), 12 total (unchanged)
  • 61816/Broadlands: 1 active (unchanged), 18 total (unchanged)
  • 61845/Foosland: 1 active (up one), 12 total (up one)
  • 61871/Royal: 1 active (unchanged), 11 total (unchanged)
  • 61852/Longview: 1 active (unchanged), 1 total (unchanged)
  • 61851/Ivesdale: 0 active (down one), 7 total (unchanged)
  • 60949/Ludlow: 0 active (unchanged), 11 total
  • 61810/Allerton: 0 active (unchanged), 1 total

The county’s pandemic totals, according to CUPHD:

  • 957,624
  • 8,184 confirmed cases
  • 39 fatalities
  • 12,393 close contacts quarantined
  • 1,244 close contacts that became positive

Monday county tests

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY SCHOOLS: Most continuing with in-person learning, reassessing after Thanksgiving break

Add RANTOUL HIGH SCHOOL to the list of Champaign County schools that will hold in-person learning this week, then reassess after Thanksgiving break.

“We are still working on our plans for the rest of the semester,” Superintendent Scott Amerio said Monday.

It’s been four days since C-U Public Health Administrator Julie Pryde recommended that all county schools pivot to all-remote learning as soon as possible due to community spread of COVID-19.

In the days since, the majority of Champaign County schools and districts outside of C-U have taken a similar approach to the one Rantoul will follow.

Here’s the latest on their plans:

— CHAMPAIGN UNIT 4 DISTRICT: For the 1,671 elementary students who returned to school buildings on Oct. 27, it’s back to all-remote learning starting this week, Superintendent Susan Zola said Thursday.

“This return to remote learning is not due to increased cases in our schools but rather increased cases in our community,” said Zola, whose district reported a total of 15 confirmed cases in elementary buildings (11 students, four staffers) during the first two weeks back.

— COUNTRYSIDE SCHOOL: In-person learning will continue until Friday, after which the Champaign school will shift to full remote until late January.

But that’s been the plan for weeks, said Krystal Young, Countryside’s interim head of administration.

“This was not due to the recommendation of CUPHD,” she said Sunday. “This has been our plan since early October, and we have been lucky enough to only have one case. If things change drastically this week, we will go remote early.”

— FISHER DISTRICT: “We plan to stay open until Thanksgiving, then reassess,” Superintendent Barb Thompson said Saturday. “Our numbers right now are extremely low — one active case — so our data doesn’t constitute a shutdown at this point.”

— GIFFORD GRADE SCHOOL: Superintendent Jay Smith said Sunday that the plan is to continue with in-person learning before determining later this week how to proceed beyond that.

“I will reassess over Thanksgiving break to determine if we can continue in-person,” Smith said.

— HERITAGE DISTRICT: Plans are to keep in-person learning this week. What happens beyond that will be discussed at Monday night’s school board meeting, Superintendent Tom Davis announced Friday.

— HOLY CROSS, ST. MALACHY, ST. MATTHEW, ST. THOMAS MORE, ST. THOMAS: Like the 37 other schools in the Peoria Diocese, it’s all-remote learning starting Monday and lasting through Jan. 18.

"The Bishops of Peoria and Office of Catholic Schools understand the many challenges that confront our school pastors, chaplains, principals, teachers, staffs, students and families with the issuance of this most recent guidance,” Peoria diocese Superintendent Sharon Weiss said in a Friday letter to pastors, chaplains and principals. “However, the safety and health of our school personnel and students is first and foremost what ultimately factors into this most difficult of decisions.”

— MAHOMET-SEYMOUR DISTRICT: While post-Thanksgiving plans remain TBD, Superintendent Lindsey Hall wrote in a Friday letter to parents, that “in the best interest of our students, as superintendent, it is my hope to remain open and following the hybrid plan we’ve been following until Dec. 18.

“I believe this is what is best for our students and families. This may or may not be possible and it is important for everyone to understand we may need to switch at some point to all remote learning. Today is not the day to make that determination. This is an evolving situation, and much could change between now and next week or the following week — this is how 2020 has been all along!”

As of Friday morning, the district had 115 in quarantine (105 students, 10 staff) and 16 positive cases (all students).

“While we've seen an uptick in cases this week, we are not considered to have had an ‘outbreak’ in our schools this week, as defined by CUPHD,” Hall wrote Friday. “Again, this goes back to our diligence with safety protocols in our schools.”

— PRAIRIEVIEW-OGDEN DISTRICT: Superintendent Jeff Isenhower said Sunday that his district is sticking with in-person learning this week and “taking it a week at a time right now.”

“We feel that our schools are set up to keep any spread from happening within our walls to the best of our ability,” Isenhower said. “We are watching two areas very closely.

“The first is the number of cases within the borders of our district combined with the number of positive cases within our student body. The second is having staff in place to cover everything that is needed to continue to serve our students and our families.

“We have been very close to being forced to go full remote but have thus far avoided it.”

Monday non-UI county tests

— RANTOUL CITY SCHOOLS DISTRICT: In-person learning ended Friday and Superintendent Michelle Ramage is recommending it remain that way until Jan. 19 — “to ensure at least 14 days from New Year’s Eve,” she wrote in a Friday letter to parents.

The school board will make the final decision at its next meeting, scheduled for Thursday.

— ST. JOSEPH GRADE SCHOOL: In-person learning is a go this week, with the school shifting to remote after Thanksgiving. “It is our hope that we can return to in-person the beginning of January,” Superintendent Todd Pence said Friday.

— ST. JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH: The plan is to hold in-person learning this week, then reassess, Superintendent Brian Brooks said Friday.

“We have put out a plan for our students, parents and staff to potentially go to full remote learning after Thanksgiving, with students coming back to in-person instruction on our current hybrid plan on January 5th,” Brooks said.

Brooks expects a decision sometime in the next few days. “The positive is that we will have a plan in place if we do go into full remote learning, and our teachers have a chance to communicate those things to their students in-person over this next week,” Brooks said.

— THOMASBORO GRADE SCHOOL: “After conversations with the school board and union, we have decided that Thomasboro Grade School will follow the ‘strongly recommended’ guidance by IDPH and move to online learning” starting on Nov. 30, Superintendent Bonnie McArthur wrote in a Friday letter to families.

“Please remember,” she added, “that guidance changes quickly and sometimes daily. This plan is subject to change. We appreciate your patience and understanding in these trying times.”

— UNITY DISTRICT: The plan calls for holding in-person classes this week, then assessing whether it should pivot to all-remote after Thanksgiving break.

On Saturday, Unity Superintendent Andy Larson said it’s likely that the district will likely make the switch: “Our kids have been resilient, our educators have been fantastic and we’re probably going to take three weeks of remote time and hopefully get back to it after the new year. Put a fork in 2020 and move on.”

— URBANA DISTRICT: On Oct. 6, Superintendent Jennifer Ivory-Tatum announced that plans to switch to hybrid learning would be put off until the second semester.

Monday state 7-day

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