County to provide COVID guidance to schools


OREGON – With no guidance from the state, Ogle County’s public health administrator told the County Board that his office will be releasing its own COVID-19 guidelines for schools “very shortly.”

At the board’s July 20 meeting, Kyle Auman said that the state has not released anything yet on what school should do when they open, including whether or not students should wear masks. He said his office is trying to work with school districts in the county.

“But this upcoming school year is going to be a little bit more contentious then previous,” Auman said, adding they are “…trying to make the best decisions for the students, the people of Ogle County and people in our region.”

In Ogle County, the COVID-19 positivity rate was 2.9 percent, Auman said. That is up from last month when it was 1.8 percent. The regional positivity rate is 2.4 percent.

He said the reason for the increase has been several summer camps that have led to positive cases of COVID.

In Ogle County, 42.78 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, which is 21,785 people. Auman said that 32.2 percent of the school age population has been vaccinated. He said now that kids ages 12 and up can get the vaccine, his office has been focusing on them. By winter, a vaccine should be available for kids ages 6 and up, he said.

The county is no longer doing mass vaccination events but does offer the vaccine in its Rochelle and Oregon offices by appointment on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Auman told the board that 14 counties in Illinois have been placed back into a warning status. He said most of the counties are in the southern part of the state or bordering Missouri.

“Several of those have counties significant issues with the Delta variant,” Auman said. “If folks are vaccinated, they still seem to have good protection against the Delta variant.”