501 Students, Staff Test Positive For COVID-19 At District 200

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WHEATON, IL — Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 7, 501 students and staff members tested positive for coronavirus in the 20 schools that make up Community Unit School District 200, according to the district’s coronavirus dashboard.

The most recent data reflects a more than 450 percent increase in positive coronavirus cases compared to the week of Dec. 11 through Dec. 17, before the district’s holiday break began. During that time period, 89 students and staff members tested positive for coronavirus.

As of Jan. 8, District 200 is following school quarantine guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for students and staff who test positive for coronavirus. Staff and students who test positive for coronavirus must isolate for five days after symptoms start or for five days after a positive coronavirus test if no symptoms are present. Those in isolation can return to school after five days if they are asymptomatic, the update from District 200 said.

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All students and staff members are still required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. Those who have tested positive for coronavirus must maintain six feet of social distance from others if their mask must be removed to eat lunch or a snack or to take a water break. Social distance must be maintained until 10 days after symptoms started or a positive COVID-19 test was taken.

“We value the importance of our students continuing to learn in our school buildings. This updated guidance is a positive step and it’s important that we continue to diligently follow the guidance as it evolves,” the Jan. 8 update from District 200 said, “Thank you for your continued partnership as we navigate this pandemic together.”

Find out what’s happening in Wheaton with free, real-time updates from Patch.

The increase in coronavirus cases and contacts at local schools reflects a nationwide surge in coronavirus cases related to the omicron variant, which is “unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” Dr. James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University Hospital, told CNN in late December.

Related: Illinois Schools Likely Biggest Culprit Of COVID Exposure: IDPH

In early January, Advocate Aurora Hospitals reported that 25 percent of its pediatric coronavirus patients were in the intensive care unit. Throughout the preceding month, half of all children admitted to the hospital system were younger than 5 years old and ineligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

More on Patch:

Substitute Teachers Needed In Deerfield 109 As COVID Cases Surge

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