DCHD Recommends Full Remote Learning for Schools

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DCHD Recommends Full Remote Learning

The DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is asking residents to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as the level of coronavirus activity “now meets the criteria identified for ‘substantial community transmission’ in the DCHD COVID-19 Return to School Framework.”

DCHD said when transmission of COVID-19 meets the “substantial” level, the health department recommends 100% remote learning.

“While remote learning is recommended, school officials are encouraged to use their discretion and expertise to determine which populations of students should receive in-person instruction whose needs are less likely to be met by virtual instruction,” said the press release. “In addition to county-level metrics and COVID-19 surveillance data, school-level considerations are important as well, such as case and outbreak activity, specific trends and distribution of cases, absenteeism among students and staff within a school, and alternate remote learning site options and safety protocols.”

Practice Prevention Methods

The health department reminds residents to practice the prevention methods: wear a mask, maintain at least six feet of distance, regularly wash hands, and avoid in-person gatherings.

“Lowering rates of community transmission is essential to achieving our goal of safely reopening all schools,” said Karen Ayala, Executive Director at DuPage County Health Department. “School leaders in DuPage County are working to do everything they can to take all necessary precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our schools, but each member of our community must do their part to support them.”

The health department said reports of many students and staff testing positive for COVID-19 have been received in recent weeks, though public health investigations found the majority of case reports weren’t linked to an outbreak inside the school. But they do warn school-associated outbreak activity increases with rising COVID-19 activity in the community.

“We all need to take this seriously and we need everyone’s cooperation. Voluntary cooperation is best, though as needed, isolation/quarantine directives and orders may be pursued to help protect individuals and families in our community” said Ayala. “In addition, we know that we have the tools we need to reduce the spread of disease in our communities – we have done it before and we need everyone to #DoYourPartDuPage.”

The health department asks residents to answer calls from contact tracers. The number that will appear on your phone is 312-777-1999 and/or “COVID CONTACT.”

Further Regional Restrictions Possible

At a COVID-19 press conference Monday afternoon, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced further restrictions could be placed over Regions 7 and 8 (Naperville’s regions) as early as Tuesday. Every region in the state has positivity rate increases over the past week, with Region 7’s rolling positivity rate at 8.3% and Region 8’s at 8.5%.

“Ours will not be a state that takes no action in response to rising cases, hospitalizations, and deaths,” said Pritzker as COVID-19 cases increase across all Illinois regions as well as each of Illinois’ neighboring states. “It looks like a new wave could be upon us.”

However, Pritzker also said we know a lot more about how to prevent the spread of the disease now than the last time COVID-19 metrics were this high.

As of October 18, DuPage County reports 2,424 COVID-19 cases that are less than 14 days old.