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With B-N Schools Back In Session, Numbers Of Kids In Quarantine Rise

Mask sign at Bloomington High School entrance
WGLT file photo
District 87 reports more than 200 students are in COVID-19 quarantine.
Updated: September 8, 2021 at 8:49 PM CDT
District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly shared some new COVID data at Wednesday’s school board meeting: “We have had a little over 30 positive cases in our student body throughout the entire district and 350 quarantines where students are out for two weeks. … A little over 70/75 kids who were close contacts didn’t have to quarantine because they were vaccinated.”

Kids in Bloomington-Normal headed back into the classroom three weeks ago. And with the school year officially underway, District 87 is reporting a jump in the number of students in quarantine.

According to the district’s dashboard, 202 students are currently in quarantine due to being a close contact of someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19. That’s up from nine students during the first week of school. The dashboard lists 96 students in quarantine for COVID-like symptoms. That number is up from 11 during the first week.

Unit 5’s dashboard reports 168 newly quarantined students and 41 positive student cases for the week of Aug. 29 – Sept. 4. 246 students were listed as newly quarantined and 39 as positive cases during the first week.

Representatives from Unit 5 were unavailable for comment.

For District 87 assistant superintendent Sherrilyn Thomas, the numbers in her district don’t come as much of a surprise.

“With school being back in session and with more students being around each other, and just within closer proximity of each other, I would almost expect to see there to be a spike in numbers,” she said.

Thomas said that many children have been out with symptoms that in normal times could be dismissed as seasonal allergies or a cold. But because of the district’s COVID protocols, students who exhibit symptoms are required to quarantine pending a negative test. Once a student provides a negative COVID result, they’re allowed to return to the classroom. Thomas said those protocols can result in many students being in quarantine for only a day or two.

District 87’s dashboard reports 12 positive student cases for the week of Aug. 30–Sept. 3, up from nine the previous week.

This article has been updated to reflect an error. The Unit 5 dashboard lists all three weeks of data. Data from the first 2 weeks were not removed, as previously written.

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Sarah Nardi is a WGLT reporter. She previously worked for the Chicago Reader covering Arts & Culture.
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