Information about When Schools Might Reopen

From the McHenry County Health Department:


WOODSTOCK  The McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) has partnered with McHenry County school Superintendents to develop interim guidance that uses county-level health metrics to assist McHenry County school officials in evaluating transitions between virtual, hybrid or in-person learning models.

While school officials and MCDH have a mutual desire for all students and staff to have a safe return to the classroom, it is important to note that there is currently no risk-free scenario or learning model that eliminates transmission from impacting schools.

The McHenry County School Metrics are intended to be used in conjunction with the June 23, 2020 Part 3 – Transition Joint Guidance document developed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Before transitioning to an in-person learning model, schools are advised to first transition to hybrid learning. Additionally, it is recommended that schools remain in a learning model for at least 14 days with all thresholds met before transitioning to the next learning model.

Thresholds used to help guide school officials are based on four metrics: COVID-19 incidence rate, the county’s test positivity, and whether COVID-19-like illness hospital admissions and new cases are increasing or decreasing.

The transitions between the various learning models are recommendations based on the science to date to reduce COVID-19 transmission and community spread. However, it is possible for one school in a district to be in a different learning mode than another in the same district.

Superintendent Scott Rowe of Huntley Community School District 158 stated, “The metrics are intended to assist school district leaders as one piece of their decision-making process. School districts throughout the county vary in enrollment, building features, operational structures, class sizes and other measures that impact their decision making in response to the ongoing pandemic.”

The transitions are illustrated below:

Schools are advised to continue virtual, or remote, instruction when:

·         Incidence rate exceeds 14 per 100,000 population per day

·         Test positivity exceeds 8%

·         COVID-19 like illness has an increase

·         Weekly case count has an increase

Schools may consider switching to hybrid, or partial remote and partial in-person, instruction when:

·         Incidence rate is between 7 and 14 per 100,000 population per day

·         Test positivity is between 5 and 8%

·         COVID-19 like illness is stable or decreasing

·         Weekly case count is stable or decreasing

Schools may consider resuming in-person instruction when:

·         Incidence rate is less than 7 per 100,000 population per day

·         Test positivity is less than 5%

·         COVID-19 like illness is stable or decreasing

·         Weekly case count is stable or decreasing

If any two metrics cannot be sustained, the matrix recommends returning to the previous lower-risk learning model.

The MCDH will advise on potential mitigation strategies should any one measure meet the threshold criteria for the previous learning model.   

Public Health Administrator, Melissa Adamson, said “MCDH and McHenry County school officials will continue to work together to ensure the safest possible learning environment for all students and staff during this unprecedented time.”

MCDH expects to have McHenry County School Metrics Data available to the public before October 3.

For additional information about the Interim Guidance for the McHenry County School Metrics, please visit


Information about When Schools Might Reopen — 2 Comments

  1. Blah, blah, blah.

    Keep the schools shut. Less indoctrination. Way less.

  2. Kids are better off w/o all the creepy stuff they teach nowadays.

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