Wilmette, News

COVID numbers continue to climb across township; Wilmette school navigates surge

New Trier Township’s spring spike in COVID-19 transmission is leading to disruption in local schools.

Because of an outbreak of the virus at Wilmette Junior High School students will eat lunch outside (weather-permitting) the remainder of the week and school principal Kate Dominique is encouraging masking indoors, according to an email from Dominque sent to parents on Monday, April 25.

According to the district’s COVID dashboard, 36 cases of COVID-19 between students and staff at WJHS were reported on Monday — the school’s highest total in 2022. Fifty-two cases across District 39 were reported Monday, and 83 cases were reported districtwide all of last week (April 17-23).

“We remind everyone of the importance of being kind and supportive to one another, and appreciate everyone’s collective efforts to support safe and healthy school communities,” Dominique wrote in the email.

New Trier High School is also navigating an influx of cases, as it recorded 25 on Monday, April 25. The total, however, is actually a decrease from the April 21 total of 34 — the most since the end of January.

Glencoe District 35, which operates three schools, reports 37 COVID-19 cases this week, its second highest sum of 2022 (50 the week of Jan. 9).

Sunset Ridge D28 has counted nine current cases, a significant increase for the district, while cases with Kenilworth District 38 and Winnetka D36 have not significantly increased.

The school increases are in line with the current impact of COVID-19 in the community, which continues to outpace upticks in the county and the state.

The positivity rate in the township’s five primary communities (Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Kenilworth and Northfield) has risen to 8.7 percent as of Friday, April 22, according to Northwestern Medicine’s data. That number is more than double the rate on April 1 (3.7%). The seven-day average positivity rate across suburban Cook County is 4.9 percent.

The township’s mew-case rate has climbed to 487.7 cases per 100,000 resident. The county’s level, is 176 cases per 100,000. According to the CDC’s new “community level” chart, which measures new-case rate and hospitalizations, Cook County’s transmission level remains “low.”

Hospitalizations in the county continue to remain low with an average of 12 new COVID-19 over seven days as of April 22. During the winter surge, the county was seeing 180 new COVID patients per day.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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