Doctor issues warning as Illinois coronavirus numbers continue to climb

It appears more schools are pulling the plug on in-person learning over fears of COVID.

Thursday’s coronavirus numbers were the highest since May 24 and one Chicago doctor is hinting it could be unlikely kids go back to school this fall.

“As we move into fall and we move into flu season, I think it’s gonna get even more challenging to think about going back,” said Dr. Sadiya Khan.

Doctor Khan, who is a Northwestern Medicine epidemiologist and cardiologist, says no one is immune to the coronavirus. She says children have had a lower positivity rate, but that there have also been fewer children tested.

“It’s still incredibly difficult to get a test, incredibly difficult to get a test result back in 24 hours, and having the infrastructure in place for those things needs to change,” Khan said.

On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,953 new COVID-19 cases and the 7-day positivity rate climbed to 4-percent.

Meanwhile, Loyola University Chicago announced it will not reopen its on-campus residence halls this fall because of the pandemic. The university says those who had put down deposits will be issued refunds before August 24.

In addition, some private schools, like South Loop Montessori School, are seeing an increase in interest from parents who want their kids back in the classroom.

“We do have families that are now taking a hard look at the Montessori School and private schools because they've identified that their children do need that in-class instruction,” said Mahdi Dadrass, who is the Executive Director of the school.

Dr. Khan says she thinks the question should change from "should we or shouldn't we open schools" to "how do we do it safely.”