Morgan County Health Department Director Dale Bainter says Morgan County is in the middle of the pack when it comes to cases of COVID-19 in Central Illinois. Morgan County currently has 10 positive cases of the coronavirus. Greene, Pike, and Schuyler Counties have reported their first cases within the last two weeks. Bainter says that as far as the ratio of population to number of cases is about in the middle of the pack when it comes to the 82 counties reporting cases. “This virus spreads so readily that it can be a very small population or a small gathering can lead you to have a large number of cases really fast. I would say we are right with the pack. I look at some of our surrounding counties being Adams a little larger than us and they have a little more than double our numbers. Sangamon of course is significantly larger than us and they have quite a few cases. Christian County is very similar in size and they have a significant number more cases than we do. I would say we’re in the middle of the pack, but maybe doing better than some.”
Bainter says that Morgan County residents need to stay vigilant on social distancing to keep the numbers at a minimum. Bainter says that calculating the number of recovering or recovered patients of COVID-19 is a tricky equation. “25% of all positives nationally are being labeled asymptomatic. So do we list that as a recovered person if they never had any symptoms? or They tested positive but what did they recover from exactly? They still have the antibodies in their system, so the virus is present there and they antibodies are present but they didn’t have symptoms to recover from.”
Bainter says that there is no timetable on when sheltering in place will be lifted in the state. Bainter believes that restrictions will be lifted slowly. Governor J.B. Pritzker said during his daily press briefing last Thursday that his stay at home order won’t be lifted before April 30th. Pritzker also discouraged organizers of large festivals and gatherings to seriously consider canceling them for the summer. The Macon County Fair canceled their schedule for this year today.
Bainter says that the Morgan County Health Department is currently in “containment mode” to help prevent further spread of the virus. In the daily correspondence from Morgan Health and Emergency Officials on Friday, they said they do not want to move to “response mode” because that would mean that the number of cases have overwhelmed the number of local resources. As of today, Morgan County’s number of positive coronavirus patients remains at 10.