Cases of COVID-19 are increasing in Illinois as positivity is rising in the listening area.
Over the past week, over 4400 new and probable cases were confirmed statewide. That compares to about 2900 the previous week. While speaking at a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike says the Delta variant remains a concern for health officials because it is so much more contagious.
“That’s why we are seeing an increase in the number of people going into the hospital with COVID, after seeing those numbers go down, down, down, down, down for months. Now it’s turned around. We are still trying to figure out if it actually makes people sicker. It’s hard to tell because it’s spreading so fast and finding so many people. Eventually, it finds people who have medical conditions like diabetes or who are immunocompromised, or who are very old and those people are ending up in the hospital.”
As of Thursday night, there were 476 Illinois COVID patients in the hospital. 12 counties, all in the downstate area which include Morgan and Cass, are at warning levels for virus activity based on new cases and ER visits for COVID-like symptoms.
Morgan County currently has a positivity rate of 11%. While Cass County is currently at 9.3% according to the IDPH website. According to an update from the Cass County Health Department late Friday afternoon, 11 new cases were confirmed in Cass this week with one of those currently hospitalized. The Morgan County joint COVID-19 update is released on Mondays.
An IDPH spokesperson told NBC 5 Chicago that currently, IDPH has no plan in place for resuming any statewide mitigations to slow the spread of the virus. Ezkie says the best way to buck the upward trend of positive cases is to get vaccinated.
Vaccinations in Morgan County are currently being administered by the Morgan County Health Department, as well as at Walgreens and Walmart pharmacies.
Pop-up vaccination clinics continue to take place in Cass County communities. More details can be found on the Cass County Health Department Facebook page.