State allows summer school openings, opens testing to everyone

Those who attended rallies are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19

Capitol News Illinois

Angela Simmons, Weekly Editor, contributed to this article

SPRINGFIELD – Summer schools can open with safety guidelines in place and state-run COVID-19 testing sites are now open to everyone.

The state made the latest two announcements as it encouraged anyone who has recently attended a mass protest to get tested for novel coronavirus disease.

“As we move forward, COVID-19 testing must be widely available and this is a step in that direction,” Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau said in a news release. “The state-operated community-based testing sites currently have the capacity to test more than 6,000 people per day, and now there will be no restrictions to who can be tested for this potentially deadly virus.”

Testing will be crucial as the state moves toward full reopening, the agency said in a news release.

Part of that reopening will include summer school for Pre-K to 12th grade students at public and non-public schools. The governor authorized reopening, effective Thursday, in an executive order, his 38th since the start of the pandemic.

Specific guidelines for reopening schools include limiting the number of people in one place to 10 or fewer, ensuring compliance with social distancing requirements and discouraging physical contact, ensuring appropriate hygiene practices such as washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes, and requiring the use of face coverings.

Students, staff and visitors must wear face coverings, and schools must make disposable face coverings available to students who are over the age of two and medically able to wear such a covering.

The Illinois State Board of Education said in a guidance document it “would like to make clear that while Phase 3 allows for the resumption of face-to-face instruction, this is not the same as a return to pre-pandemic operations.”

“Extensive social distancing measures, enhanced sanitation measures, and other accommodations will be necessary to ensure the safety of students, staff, and their families,” according to the 29-page guidance document.

The announcement comes as the state reported another 929 cases of the virus and 116 deaths, pushing the number of confirmed cases in Illinois to 124,759 cases, including 5,736 deaths. The recovery rate for those 42 days removed from a positive test is 92 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

There have been 982,016 tests performed in the state, including 22,841 results reported in the previous 24 hours, meaning the number of tests coming back positive was just more than 4 percent over that span. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate from May 28 to June 3 is 6 percent. Those numbers must remain below 20 percent for the state to move forward with its reopening plan.

The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital beds decreased to 3,044 as of midnight Thursday, while the number in intensive care unit beds grew by nine to 853 and ventilator use grew by eight to 516. All remain in a downward trend.

The IDPH has warned, however, that recent protests could lead to an uptick in virus numbers.

“As people gather in large crowds with varying degrees of social distancing, there is cause for concern about COVID-19 spread and outbreaks, especially if masks were not worn universally,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a news release Thursday. “I urge anyone who recently attended a rally, protest, or other mass gathering to get tested for COVID-19 so we can identify any cases early.  We recommend testing 5-7 days after participating in large group rallies, or immediately if symptoms develop. If there are known cases, we can make sure those people are quarantined and not exposing other individuals.”

No appointment, doctor referral, or insurance is needed at state operated drive-thru sites and testing is available at no cost to the individual. A list of public and private testing sites can be found on the IDPH website at

St. Clair County

St. Clair County has seen jumps in cases for multiple days, and on Wednesday, June 3, had the highest hospitalization numbers since early April.

On June 3, the county had 74 COVID-19 positive and patients under investigation (PUI), with eight of those patients on ventilators, which has decreased today to 62 patients hospitalized with seven patients on ventilators.

Despite negative hospitalization percentages, the southern region as a whole is still on trend to move to Phase 4 on June 26.

St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Herb Simmons and St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern theorized that we are seeing an increase from Memorial Day weekend celebrations and people beginning to gather after the state relaxed restrictions and moved into Phase 3.

County officials continue to urge residents to wear masks and to maintain social distances of six feet or more.

Testing labs that had been closed for days due to civil unrest have reopened as of June 3.

As of June 4, there are 8,533 residents that have been tested, and 1,362 of those residents were positive for COVID-19. Today, there are 31 new cases, both males and female from their 20s through their 80s. 7,112 residents have tested negative, and 49 tests are pending.

The county has had 102 Deaths, the newest of which was a female in her 100s with underlying health conditions. 859 residents have completed their IDPH required 14 day quarantine period.

St. Clair County Zip Code Totals

62059-7 / 62201-19 / 62203-44 / 62204-49 / 62205-52 / 62206-114 / 62207-77 / 62208-82 / 62220-146 / 62221-112 / 62223-54 / 62226-149 / 62232-27 / 62239-15 / 62243-8 / 62254-48 / 62257-12 / 62258-15 / 62260- 10 / 62264-42 / 62269-77 / 62285 -14

St. Clair County Congregate Living Facilities in Outbreak Status

BRIA of Belleville – 40 cases and 4 deaths / BRIA of Cahokia – 8 cases and 0 deaths / Caritas Family Solutions (Belleville) – 11 cases and 0 deaths / Caseyville Nursing and Rehab – 3 cases and 0 deaths / Cedarhust of Shiloh – 11 cases and 0 deaths / Cedar Ridge of Lebanon – 16 cases and 1 deaths / Colonnade – 4 cases and 0 deaths / Four Fountains – 104 cases and 25 deaths / Help at Home (Belleville) – 2 cases and 0 deaths / Help at Home (O’Fallon) – 5 cases and 0 deaths / Knollwood Retirement Center (Caseyville) – 8 cases and 1 deaths / Lebanon Care Center – 54 cases and 10 deaths / Memorial Care Center – 43 cases and 5 deaths / New Athens Home for the Aged – 51 cases and 3 deaths / St. Paul’s Home – 42 cases and 11 deaths / Swansea Rehab and Care Center – 20 cases and 2 deaths / TDL Incorporated (Belleville) – 4 cases and 0 deaths