District 156 dashboard reports COVID cases

Students and staff of West Campus test positive for COVID-19 as McHenry County cases rise


Kyla Henige

Signs provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health hang on bulletin boards throughout West Campus. Now that students will not be returning to hybrid, only teachers, staff, and administrators will see them.

Kyla Henige, Managing Editor

Six people at MCHS have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to a dashboard created by District 156 administration. This dashboard is used to keep the community updated on the McHenry Country metrics and weekly COVID-19 case count as well as other updates regarding COVID-19.

This dashboard does not disclose any names for legal reasons. It also does not differentiate between students, staff, or campus. However, it does provide how many cases total have been reported so far in the month of October.

Superintendent Ryan McTague says in an email, “The MCHS Dashboard will include all staff and students who are in-person or remote and will be updated weekly. In addition, we will send a campus-based general notification via email if a positive case(s) is confirmed, and if that individual(s) was present at one of our school buildings or MCHS programs.” 

The dashboard comes after at least three teachers have tested positive for COVID-19 at West Campus.

In emails to administrators, teachers, and staff on October 15, 27, and 28, McTague wrote, “We have been notified that an individual(s) present at McHenry Community High School – West Campus … has tested positive for COVID-19.” 

The emails go on to explain, “This individual is now in isolation and we will report the case to the McHenry County Health Department. In collaboration with the McHenry County Health Department, school administration, and our school nurse, we have completed our process of identifying close contacts in the building.”

The school alerted the McHenry County Department of Health, isolated those individuals, reached out to staff, ensured that the school was cleaned, and reminded people in the building to remain socially distant at all times while wearing a mask.

Currently, the dashboard is only updated through October 26, reporting six positive cases of COVID-19 and does not include the two teachers that were announced to have tested positive for COVID-19 on October 27 and 28. 

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, recommends that districts disclose confirmed cases of COVID-19 with students and parents in addition to school personnel.

“Every school should have a plan in place to protect staff, children, and their families from the spread of COVID-19 and a response plan in place for if/when a student, teacher, or staff member tests positive for COVID-19,” the CDC states. “This plan should be developed in collaboration with state and local public health departments; school nurses, parents, caregivers, and guardians; student leaders; community members; and other relevant partners.”

With cases going up in the school and the state, MCHS will continue to evaluate the appropriate time to return to hybrid.

“The MCHD School Metrics are only one part of the decision making process to determine if MCHS will advance to a hybrid instructional model” explains McTague.In addition to public health metrics, MCHS must also comply with all ISBE guidance and IDPH requirements.”