As Wilmette’s suburban Cook County Region 10 inches towards 8% positivity, recent reports show multiple Wilmette governments’ staff infected with the coronavirus.
Wilmette Public Schools District 39 has reported seven positive cases among staff and the Village of Wilmette has reported four. In the past two months, three of the village’s cases occurred and the park district reported two cases, both from public-facing employees. Among the village's recent staff testing positive was a firefighter or paramedic who recently tested positive, two months after firefighters were observed gathering in close proximity without masks.
Library director Anthony Auston reported, “Our team has been very lucky to have avoided the virus so successfully to date.” Avoca school District 37 also reported no known cases among staff.
Meanwhile, the Village of Wilmette sent out a statement that seems to contradict Illinois Department of Public Health data in its August 28 email newsletter stating, “While cases continue to trend slightly upward, our overall region (Suburban Cook County, Region 10) is holding steady over the last few weeks and remains below the 8% threshold that triggers additional restrictions.” At the time however, Region 10’s positivity had been consistently increasing, a 15% growth over the prior two week period from 6.0% to 6.9%. Wilmette’s village manager Mike Braiman declined our request for an interview.
District 39 would not provide dates for their staff’s seven COVID cases, and the attorney general’s office is reviewing whether or not this was compliant with Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act. The district could not be reached for comment.
Cook County has the fourth largest number of confirmed cases (132,401) in the United States per the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports that Wilmette has seen a total of 292 positive cases and the Cook County Medical Examiner reports six deaths in Wilmette from COVID-19. On August 28, IDPH added suburban Cook County to the list of 30 counties deemed at “warning level.”
Statewide, IDPH reports that there have been 255,643 confirmed cases and 8,242 deaths.