As elementary school children begin to get vaccinated against COVID-19, there has been an upsurge in cases this month in some local school districts.
LaGrange-Brookfield School District 102, which serves the southwest section of Brookfield, reported 33 COVID-19 cases among students in the first two weeks of November.
The first two weeks of November were the first weeks of the school year in which a double-digit number of positive COVID tests were reported in the district.
Riverside Elementary School District 96 has also seen cases rise in recent weeks. Six cases, including one staff member, were reported in District 96 in the week ending Nov. 19 while eight cases, including one staff member, were reported in District 96 for the week ending Nov. 12.
Thirty-four percent of the 38 COVID cases reported in District 96 this school year have been reported in the past two weeks.
“We do not have a specific outbreak nor particular situation that might have caused this,” said District 96 Superintendent Martha Ryan-Toye in an email. “We would guess that this is reflective of an increase in indoor activities and perhaps more families gathering as the holidays approach. We encourage everyone to continue to implement important COVID safety protocols.”
Numbers have remained fairly steady in Brookfield-LaGrange Park District 95. Three cases among students at Brook Park School were reported in the week ending Nov. 20 while no new cases were reported at S.E. Gross Middle School. Twenty-three cases have been reported at Brook Park since school began in August while eight students at Gross have tested positive thus far this school year.
At Lyons Township High School seven students and two staff members tested positive for COVID in the week ending Nov. 18. The seven students testing positive last week was the highest weekly positive case count of the school year at LTHS.
COVID-19 cases were also up this month compared to October at Riverside-Brookfield High School. As of Nov. 23, the school had reported 10 total cases (six students, four staff) in November compared to two students and one staff in all of October.
The November total at RBHS is still far below the numbers the school reported in September, when there were 10 students and three staff testing positive.
RBHS also is reporting that almost 76 percent of students have provided proof of vaccination, while 95.3 percent of staff have provided proof of vaccination.
Case counts at Lyons-Brookfield School District 103, and Komarek School were not immediately available.
Cases up in villages generally
The uptick in positive COVID-19 case counts in schools reflects what’s being seen in the wider community.
Case counts in both Riverside and North Riverside were in double digits for the weeklong period ending on the morning of Nov. 23. There were 15 new case reported in Riverside and 11 in North Riverside.
In Brookfield, there were 28 new cases for the past week, down slightly from 31 the week before. Those are the highest weekly totals in each village since mid-September.
The Cook County Medical Examiner also reported an additional local fatality from COVID-19 on Nov. 15 in Brookfield, a 61-year-old man. He is the 16th village resident to die from COVID-19. Both Riverside and North Riverside have had at least four people die from the disease, the Landmark has found.
Bob Uphues contributed to this report.