Bainter Discusses COVID Variant and Local Outbreaks

By Jeremy Coumbes on July 7, 2021 at 10:15am

Morgan County has not been immune to the increase of reported COVID-19 cases in the last few weeks as confirmation of the Delta variant is starting to occur in West Central Illinois.

Morgan County Health Department Administrator Dale Bainter says although they have not received clinical confirmation from the lab that the Delta variant is present in the county, they have seen other variants in recent cases, and from that he has to assume that the Delta variant is already here.

Bainter says even with the vaccine, some increases in positive cases are to be expected: “We are seeing an increase in numbers. It is to be expected that we are rolling back our restrictions. The community as a whole, our state, our region, and our nation is being more active; and as we have seen with COVID, the more active we are and the close proximity we are, we are going to continue to see those pockets of those small outbreaks.”

On June 28th the Morgan County Health Department confirmed an outbreak of COVID at Jacksonville Skilled Nursing, with seven residents and nine staff members contracting the virus.

Bainter says the health department has seen multiple cases of COVID in Morgan County residents that were infected directly from the outbreak at The Crossing Church Camp in Schuyler County.

Bainter says not all of the confirmed cases over the last few weeks have been in people who are not vaccinated: “We have seen individuals that have been breakthrough cases. That is the definition or term we use, as we have seen people who are vaccinated that would then test positive for COVID, so we have had positive cases in individuals that have been vaccinated and fully vaccinated, but as we say and have said all along, the vaccine is not one hundred percent effective at preventing COVID infection, but it is effective at preventing severe illness with infections after being vaccinated. So, we’re going to see that periodically and time to time, but the vaccine continues to be safe and effective at preventing severe illness in individuals for COVID.”

According to a press release yesterday morning, the Pike County Health Department has confirmed the first case of the Delta variant and two confirmations of the Alpha variant.

Over the past weekend, nine Pike County residents were diagnosed with COVID-19, with three of those cases now hospitalized.