PEORIA, Illinois (WMBD) — Some schools in the Tri-County area are returning to distance learning in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Lisa Weaver, Superintendent of Pleasant Hill School in Peoria, announced that distance learning will begin for all students from Tuesday through Thanksgiving.
On Monday, the seventh and eighth graders of Tremont Grade School went away for the rest of the week.
Tracy Terlinde, an epidemiologist at Peoria City/County Health Department, said 10% of a classroom or three or more linked cases give a school outbreak status. She said COVID-19 cases in children up to age 19 have steadily increased since September, accounting for more than 20% of all cases.
“We see more of that contact or close contact happening outside of school, some of which are within the school with extracurricular activities,” she said.
Now that vaccines are available for children ages five to 11, Terlinde said it’s very important to get your child vaccinated.
“By vaccinating our children, we will help reduce outbreaks in schools, we can remove those masks, we don’t have to worry about distance learning and we can slowly get back to normal,” she said.
The Peoria City/County health department is hosting vaccine clinics for five to 11-year-olds from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday. Appointments are mandatory.