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After "multiple" confirmed cases of COVID-19, Unity High School will shift to two weeks of all-remote learning beginning Tuesday, Superintendent Andy Larson told The News-Gazette Monday night.

The school will undergo deep cleaning this week, Larson said.

Students are scheduled to return on Nov. 10.

Unity is just the latest school to move from in-person learning to remote. Elsewhere:

Rantoul's Broadmeadow Elementary announced Monday it would do likewise after a single employee case led to 20 close contacts being sidelined.

With 19 of the close contacts being Broadmeadow employees, "we do not have enough staff to cover classes and continue teaching in person," Principal Amy Blomberg wrote in a letter to families Monday. "The last time the COVID-19-positive individual was in the school setting while they were contagious was October 23, 2020."

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School moved to two weeks of all-remote learning after positive tests by "multiple students," Superintendent Jeremy Darnell announced. The remote period began Monday and is scheduled to last through Nov. 6.

Monticello High announced last week that its remote learning period, oroginally scheduled to last a week, was extended until Nov. 4.

— The Arcola district's remote learning period, which began on Oct. 20, is scheduled to last through Friday.


PIATT COUNTY: 22 new cases in three days

The number of confirmed cases in Piatt County now stands at 267 after the Dewitt Piatt Bi-County Health Department reported 22 cases over the past three days early Monday evening.

The new cases by day:

— Friday: 6 new cases in Monticello, 2 in Cerro Gordo, 3 in Atwood, 1 in White Heath.

— Saturday: No new cases. (Technical issues interfered with case reporting on Saturday, the health department reports).

— Sunday: 4 new cases in Atwood, 2 in Monticello, 2 in Cerro Gordo, 1 in Mansfield, 1 in White Heath.


DOUGLAS COUNTY: 324 cases in two weeks

The number of confirmed cases in Douglas County grew by 29, to 722, local health officials announced early Monday evening.

Of those, 324 have been reported in the past two weeks.

Monday's cases ranged in age from 1 to 70s:

  • A 1-year-old boy
  • A 10-year-old boy
  • Two teens, aged 15 and 16
  • Four men and one woman in their 20s
  • Two women and two men in their 30s
  • Five men and one woman in their 40s
  • Two women and two men in their 50s
  • Two women and two men in their 60s
  • One woman and one man in their 70s

Monday county positivity

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY: 42 new cases, seven hospitalizations, 0.5 percent seven-day rate

Of 9,680 new tests, 42 came back positive Monday in Champaign County, a rate of 0.4 percent.

The county’s seven-day positivity rate remained 0.5 percent for the fifth straight day.

The seven-day rate without University of Illinois testing factored in — the figure the state will use for Champaign County in its mitigation plan — is 4.9 percent through Oct. 23.

The seven-day rate for the East Central Illinois region Champaign County is a part of on the state’s mitigation map (Region 6) is 7.8 percent.

Other Champaign County coronavirus numbers of note:

— The number of county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 remained seven for the sixth straight day.

— Recovered cases outnumber active ones, 5,630 to 323.

— The number of close contacts currently in quarantine rose by 44, to 1,214.

Monday active

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: 67 active (down three from Sunday), 2,632 total (up seven)
  • 61866/Rantoul: 64 active (down four from Sunday), 471 total (up four)
  • 61821/Champaign: 40 active (down two from Sunday), 588 total (up three)
  • 61822/Champaign: 31 active (down five from Sunday), 454 total (up three)
  • 61802/Urbana: 25 active (up three from Sunday), 418 total (up six)
  • 61801/Urbana: 24 active (up one from Sunday), 552 total (up four)
  • 61853/Mahomet: 22 active (up two from Sunday), 237 total (up five)
  • 61873/St. Joseph: 10 active (unchanged from Sunday), 124 total (up one)
  • 61843/Fisher: 9 active (up three from Sunday), 50 total (up three)
  • 61874/Savoy: 8 active (up two from Sunday), 147 total (up two)
  • 61880/Tolono: 5 active (unchanged from Sunday), 86 total (up one)
  • 61864/Philo: 3 active (up one from Sunday), 32 total (up one)
  • 61878/Thomasboro: 3 active (unchanged from Sunday), 23 total (unchanged)
  • 61816/Broadlands: 3 active (up one from Sunday), 7 total (up one)
  • 61877/Sidney: 2 active (unchanged from Sunday), 32 total (unchanged)
  • 60949/Ludlow: 2 active (up one from Sunday), 8 total (up one)
  • 61840/Dewey: 2 active (unchanged from Sunday), 7 total (unchanged)
  • 61847/Gifford: 1 active (down one from Sunday), 17 total (unchanged)
  • 61849/Homer: 1 active (unchanged from Sunday), 15 total (unchanged)
  • 61859/Ogden: 0 active (down one from Sunday), 18 total (unchanged)
  • 61863/Pesotum: 0 active (unchanged from Sunday), 17 total (unchanged)
  • 61875/Seymour: 0 active (unchanged from Sunday), 10 total (unchanged)
  • 61871/Royal: 0 active (unchanged from Sunday), 9 total (unchanged)
  • 61845/Foosland: 0 active (unchanged from Sunday), 9 total (unchanged)
  • 61872/Sadorus: 0 active (unchanged from Sunday), 6 total (unchanged)
  • 61851/Ivesdale: 0 active (unchanged from Sunday), 5 total (unchanged)
  • 61862/Penfield: 0 active (unchanged from Sunday), 2 total (unchanged)
  • 61810/Allerton: 0 active (unchanged from Sunday), 1 total (unchanged)

The county’s pandemic totals, according to CUPHD: 755,316 tests, 5,981 confirmed cases, 28 fatalities, 9,187 close contacts quarantined and 970 close contacts that became positive.



Monday Ford

FORD COUNTY: 40 isolating at home, one hospitalized

Six of the 11 new cases reported Monday in Ford County are connected to a long-term care outbreak at Piper City Rehab & Living Center, local health officials announced.

The Ford County Public Health Department also reported two fatalities — involving a man and woman, both in their 80s — which the Illinois Department of Public Health announced over the weekend.

Fourteen Ford County residents have now lost their lives to COVID-19.

The county's case total grew to 272, with 204 classified as confirmed and 68 as probable.

Forty residents are isolating at home and one is hospitalized.


CHAMPAIGN: Legends Golf Course closed through Tuesday

Champaign’s Legends Golf Course will remain closed through Tuesday after an “outside worker” tested positive for COVID-19, officials announced.

“We are currently waiting for the COVID testing results of our staff to come back,” the course announced in a statement on its website. “We are thoroughly sanitizing the facility at this time.”


Monday Vermilion

VERMILION COUNTY: 21 new cases, 177 active

Vermilion County’s seven-day positivity rate — which reached as high as 9.8 percent last week — enters this week at 7.7 percent.

While hospitalizations remain 14, another metric took a turn for the better Monday: Active cases fell by 21 overnight, to 177.

Overall, the number of confirmed cases in the county rose by 21 Monday, to 1,507.

The new cases range in age from infancy to 80s:

  • One resident in their 80s
  • One in their 70
  • Five in their 50s
  • Two in their 40s
  • Four in their 30s
  • Two in their 20s
  • One teen
  • Three grade-school-aged children
  • One pre-schooler
  • One infant

DANVILLE: 42 active cases at VA, six at prison

The Danville Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System has 42 active cases — 33 involving veterans and nine among employees — according to data on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Over the course of the pandemic, there have been a total of 224 cases at the Danville VA — 136 veterans, 42 employees — as well as three "known deaths."

Meanwhile, six of the 16 Danville Correctional Center staff members who've tested positive for COVID-19 have active cases, according to data from the Illinois Department of Corrections.

No inmates have tested positive at the Danville prison, records show.


IDPH: Seven-day positivity rate climbs to 6.3 percent

Of 57,624 new tests statewide, 4,729 came back positive Monday, a rate of 8.2 percent.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate increased, as it has for much of the month, from 6.1 to 6.3 percent:

October’s seven-day state rates:

  • Monday, Oct. 26: 6.3 percent
  • Sunday, Oct. 25: 6.1 percent
  • Saturday, Oct. 24: 6.1 percent
  • Friday, Oct. 23: 5.6 percent
  • Thursday, Oct. 22: 5.7 percent
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21: 5.7 percent
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20: 5.5 percent
  • Monday, Oct. 19: 5.4 percent
  • Sunday, Oct. 18: 5.3 percent
  • Saturday, Oct. 17: 5.2 percent
  • Friday, Oct. 16: 5.1 percent
  • Thursday, Oct. 15: 4.9 percent
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14: 4.6 percent
  • Tuesday, Oct. 13: 4.5 percent
  • Monday, Oct. 12: 4.3 percent
  • Sunday, Oct. 11: 4.2 percent
  • Saturday, Oct. 10: 4.0 percent
  • Friday, Oct. 9: 3.8 percent
  • Thursday, Oct. 8: 3.7 percent
  • Wednesday, Oct. 7: 3.5 percent
  • Tuesday, Oct. 6: 3.4 percent
  • Monday, Oct. 5: 3.4 percent
  • Sunday, Oct. 4: 3.3 percent
  • Saturday: Oct. 3: 3.4 percent
  • Friday, Oct. 2: 3.4 percent
  • Thursday, Oct. 1: 3.5 percent

The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 17 fatalities statewide on Monday:

  • Adams County: 1 female 80s
  • Cook County: 1 male 30s, 1 male 50s, 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 2 female 80s, 2 male 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
  • Lake County: 1 female 90s
  • Peoria County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s

— Pandemic totals, according to IDPH: 7,326,216 tests, 378,985 cases and 9,522 deaths.


Monday UI positivity

UI: 4,935 tests, 23 cases, 0.2 percent seven-day positivity rate

The seven-day positivity rate on campus remained 0.2 percent for the fourth straight day.

Twenty-three new cases emerged from 4,935 new tests Sunday, a rate of 0.5 percent, the UI reported Monday.

Since Aug. 24, when classes began, there have been 2,547 unique cases of COVID-19 on campus.

Since Aug. 16, when move-in week kicked off, there have been 2,829 cases.

Monday UI 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, Oct. 22: 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. 1 2,453 new tests, 7 new cases

Monday Pritzker

Gov. J.B. Pritzker takes questions about the state's COVID-19 response in Peoria Monday after announcing that two more regions will see increased economic restrictions in an effort to fight the spread of COVID-19.

PEORIA: Two more regions added to mitigation list

Reports Jerry Nowicki, bureau chief at Capitol News Illinois:

Six of the state’s 11 coronavirus mitigation regions will be under escalated restrictions starting Wednesday as hospitalizations for COVID-19 show a quickening rate of increase.

“So no matter where in Illinois you call home, as you go about your daily lives, remember that this is not over,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at his daily COVID-19 briefing in Peoria. “There seems to be a COVID storm on the rise. And we have to get prepared.”

As of Sunday night, there were 2,638 people hospitalized with COVID-19, including 589 in intensive care unit beds and 238 on ventilators — all were once again highs not seen since early to mid-June.

A Capitol News Illinois analysis shows:

— The weekly average hospital bed usage from Oct. 19 to Oct. 25 increased by 495 to 2,488, or roughly 25 percent, from the previous week.

— ICU bed usage increased by 118 to 534 on average, an increase of 28 percent from the previous week.

— Average daily ventilator use increased by 51 from the week prior to 210, a jump of 32 percent.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, we were concerned about overwhelming our hospitals and we must take action now to prevent that possibility,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

Pritzker’s office on Monday made the announcement that suburban Cook County’s Region 10 will enter Tier 1 of the state’s mitigation protocols after seeing an increase in positivity rate and hospital admissions for eight of the past 10 days. Region 4, which includes the Metro East area on the Missouri border near St. Louis, will see the mitigations after its positivity rate remained above 8 percent for three days.

Region 4 was previously under added mitigations from Aug. 18 to Oct. 9, while Region 10 is the first to trigger mitigations by a route other than three days above an 8 percent seven-day average positivity rate.

The state’s rolling seven-day average test positivity rate hit 6.3 percent Monday, the highest it’s been since June 2. That’s after IDPH reported an average of 4,984 confirmed cases among an average 70,959 test results reported each day from Saturday through Monday. That made for a three-day positivity rate of 7 percent, and the 6,161 cases announced for Saturday set the state’s one-day record.

Another 104 COVID-19-positive individuals died over the previous three days, bringing the death toll to 9,522 among 378,985 confirmed cases and more than 7.3 million tests conducted since the pandemic began. Ezike said if the current trends continue, Illinois is on a path to see 11,000 dead from the virus by the end of the year.

While there is a 97 percent recovery rate — meaning 97 percent of COVID-19-positive individuals are alive 42 days after diagnosis, according to IDPH — Pritzker and Ezike said there are often lasting side effects for survivors.

“There are currently more than 2,500 Illinoisans in the hospital fighting this virus, and unfortunately because we now have so many new people getting infected, that number will likely rise over the coming weeks,” Pritzker said. “Many of those people will survive, but many will have lasting damage to their lungs and other internal organs.”

Ezike said all Illinoisans should take care to wash their hands, maintain social distance, wear face coverings and avoid large crowds, doing all of them together to further protect themselves.

“The goal should not be to be lax with getting infected because the chances of survival are good,” Ezike said. “But as we know, it's not clear who will succumb to this virus or not. Yes, it's true that our older members of society, and people with pre-existing conditions are among the higher risk, but we have heard countless stories of individuals, even teenagers, with no known medical conditions that have succumbed to this virus.”

Dr. Michael Cruz, chief operating officer of OSF HealthCare based in Peoria, agreed that OSF doctors had seen “otherwise healthy individuals who have succumbed to this virus.”

“This is the time when we have to double down,” he said. “We need everyone's help to prevent further escalation of this pandemic in our area, and to help us reduce the impact on our health care resources, which are being used fully at this time.”

He said all Illinoisans should get their flu shot to help avoid strain on the system.

Asked about a potential need for field hospitals in the future, Pritzker said “we have the ability, by limiting capacity at certain locations like bars and restaurants, by everybody wearing a mask and so on, to avoid the need for field hospitals, but we've kept warm at least one facility.”

That’s in suburban Cook County, he said.

Ahead of the holiday season, Pritzker said people getting together with family and friends should wear masks and keep six feet of distance from each other, even when gathering in private.

Pritzker once again reiterated that the state would enforce mitigations, potentially with revocation of gambling machine or liquor licenses after first issuing citations or dispersal orders.

“Where we know we've got scofflaws, where we know there are bars and restaurants or others who are putting the public in danger, we have asked our state police to go to those areas,” he said.

The mitigations do not apply to schools, which have separate guidance provided by the Illinois State Board of Education which remains in effect. Districts can choose locally whether students will participate in in-person learning.

Monday county cases
Monday UI tests

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