As September turned to October, Brookfield, Riverside and North Riverside continued to see a slow but steady growth in the number of residents testing positive for COVID-19, though no local cases have been recorded as fatal in any of the villages since the third week of July.

In both Riverside and Brookfield, 14 more residents tested positive for COVID-19 for the seven-day period ending on the morning of Oct. 6. While that kind of weekly figure has remained stable in Brookfield throughout the month of September, the 14 new cases in Riverside represented the first time more than 10 new cases were recorded in any one-week period since the last week of August. 

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Riverside now stands at 206 since the first cases were recorded in late March. It took 16 weeks for Riverside to reach 100 cases, and 12 weeks to record its second 100 cases.

Brookfield’s total number of COVID-19 cases stood at 389 on the morning of Oct. 6, and the rate at which new cases are being added is not slowing. It took 17 weeks for Brookfield to record its first 200 cases of COVID-19. 

Based on the past month, the village will surpass 400 by next week. If that’s the case it will have taken Brookfield 12 weeks to record its second group of 200 cases.

Five more North Riverside residents tested positive for COVID-19 in the seven-day period ending the morning of Oct. 6, bringing that village’s total to 127. From Sept. 1 through Oct. 5, North Riverside saw just 14 new cases of COVID-19.

Two local school districts informed families in the past week that members of their communities had tested positive for COVID-19.

On Oct. 2, Riverside-Brookfield High School Principal Hector Freytas informed parents that the administration had completed contact tracing after a student had tested positive for COVID-19.

RBHS has been conducting classes remotely, and the student reportedly contracted the disease outside of the school setting.

On Oct. 5, Riverside Elementary School District 96 Superintendent Martha Ryan-Toye informed families that a staff member at Blythe Park School in Riverside had tested positive.

Ryan-Toye described that person as a certified staff member who was not a teacher. The staff member, according to an email sent to families, stated that “this situation is not connected to any of our previous cases of COVID-19. … The contact with students and other staff members was minimal to none.”

It’s the fifth positive test within the District 96 community since the beginning of the school year. Classes are being held both in person and remotely in District 96, and so far no cases are believed to have been transmitted within a classroom setting.

State surpasses 300,000 cases, 8,800 deaths

Illinois surpassed 300,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 8,800 virus-related deaths over the weekend as it approached 6 million tests conducted since the pandemic first reached the state. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 62 additional virus-related deaths from Saturday through Monday, bringing total casualties in the state to 8,805. 

There were 1,631 people hospitalized for the virus at the end of Sunday, including 382 in intensive care units and 155 on ventilators. 

While hospitalization numbers can fluctuate by the hundreds daily, a Capitol News Illinois analysis of IDPH data shows the weekly average for hospitalizations has crept slightly upward in all three categories in recent weeks as the state’s test positivity rate has remained roughly level. 

From Oct. 3-5, the state reported an average of 1,916 confirmed cases of the virus each day among an average daily test output of 53,942. That brought the rolling seven-day average test positivity rate to 3.4 percent.

Capitol News Illinois contributed to this report.