Covid-19 is still with us. Sangamon and Menard counties are now listed as high places of transmission of the virus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Locally, Cass and Morgan among 29 other counties are listed at medium risk. Community level risk assessments are updated every Thursday.
Morgan County Health Department Administrator Dale Bainter says that despite IDPH listing the county at medium risk, numbers of hospitalizations and positive cases are beginning to tick back up: “We have seen a pretty significant increase over the last 7 days. We are some increase in hospital activity, but just an overall increase in the positivity, which is really concerning because I don’t think nearly as many people are getting tested. When we are seeing maybe 100 cases over 5-7 days, those were numbers that were very alarming to us over the past 2 years. If we are not testing as many people and we are seeing a large number of people positive, then Covid is still there. We need to continue to be cognizant of it. Remember the population that it affects the most while it’s spreading in the community. While it’s not everyone that it has a significant impact on, when it does impact that certain individual or vulnerable population, it can be severe.”
Bainter says that the most up-to-date information about Covid-19 is now found almost solely through IDPH’s website: “They are the ones updating that and are the keeper of the records right now. As the Covid effort has begun to ramp down and has been for several months, they have pulled more and more of the surveillance back to the state level. Contact tracing was pulled back to the state level. Monitoring of positivity rates are at the state level. You’ll see all of that on the IDPH website.”
Bainter says the Morgan County Health Department hopes to utilize their new location on East State Street’s more spacious capacity to still provide services like vaccination drives to help keep Covid at bay in hopes of seeing the pandemic eventually come to an end.