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IDPH to offer free COVID testing for public schools through next school year

15 Jun 2022 5:54 AM | Anonymous

Free COVID-19 testing will continue to be made available to every public school outside of Chicago through the upcoming school year, the Department of Public Health announced Tuesday. [Health News Illinois]

The agency will renew its agreement with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to use its saliva-based COVID-19 tests to quickly identify individuals who are positive for COVID-19.

“We want to do everything possible to prevent sickness among our children, which is why this renewal and continued testing is critical,” IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars said in a statement.

The program, paid for through federal funds, provided testing for about 1 million students and staff in K-12 schools during the most recent school year, according to IDPH.

A separate testing agreement with the Chicago Department of Public Health covers testing for the city’s charter, parochial and private schools. Chicago Public Schools receives direct federal funding for its own testing program. 

As of Monday, 1,192 Illinoisans were in the hospital with COVID-19, up 48 from Sunday and down 26 from the prior week.

Of the patients in the hospital, 122 were in intensive care units, up five from Sunday and up 11 from the prior week. Twenty-one percent of Illinois’ ICU beds were available, down 1 percentage point from the prior week.

There were 35 patients on ventilators, up four from Sunday and up two from the prior week.

Thirty-two Illinois counties are now at “high” COVID-19 transmission risk, the level at which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people mask indoors in public spaces. An additional 39 counties are now rated at the “medium” risk level.

The Department of Public Health reported 3,879 new COVID-19 cases and 21 deaths on Tuesday. The new cases bring the state total to 3,365,525. The death toll is 33,954.

The seven-day average for new cases on Tuesday was 3,983, down 1,049 from the prior week. The seven-day average for daily deaths is 10, the same as the prior week.

The seven-day case rate per 100,000 people is 31.3, down 8.2 from the prior week.

 Illinois vaccinators have administered 22,509,886 COVID-19 vaccines, including 4,569,097 booster doses. The seven-day average for doses administered is 11,024. 

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