In the first four days of the first week of the new year, the Montgomery County Health Department reported 160 new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus.
Daily updates by the health department reported 20 new cases on Sunday, 33, on Monday, 51 on Tuesday, and 56 on Wednesday for a total of 1,991 since the pandemic began.
Not included in those numbers are the confirmed cases at Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro, where the virus continues to spike. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), as of Wednesday, Jan. 6, 490 inmates at the facility currently have the virus. That’s 27.4 percent of the prison’s 1,790 inmate population.
Additionally, IDOC reports 28 current cases among staff members at Graham.
All four school districts in Montgomery County resumed classes this week, and rapid testing conducted in the Hillsboro and Litchfield district resulted in three positives: a high school teacher in Hillsboro, and a high school teacher and secretary in Litchfield.
As classes began in Hillsboro, 60 students, four teachers, and six other staff members were on quarantine for positive tests and close contacts over the Christmas break.
A high school student and two children at Hillsboro Community Child Development Center (HCCDC) tested positive after being in attendance on Tuesday. As a result, the infant room and toddler room were closed at HCCDC and 15 children and five staff members were quarantined, as well as 15 high school students and three other bus riders from the high school positive.
In the Litchfield district, a student at Russell School tested positive on Tuesday.
According to Litchfield Superintendent Dr. Greggory Fuerstenau, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is currently training school nurses in rapid testing for a pilot program that the superintendent anticipates will be ready for implementation later this month.