A pair of Western Illinois counties are warning the public about increasing COVID-19 cases, including an outbreak at an elementary school.
The Pike County Health Department received confirmation of over 30 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, after reporting 31 cases on Monday. Pike County Health Officials say they anticipate the number of cases in the county to increase due to the numerous contacts reported by patients.
Nancy Halpin, RN and Communicable disease Coordinator at PCHD was quoted in the press release as saying “We are in a COVID epidemic here in Pike County”.
Pike County returned to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID Warning List on Friday, and as of Sunday Pike County had a 9.1% 7-day rolling positivity rate, according to IDPH statistics.
Health Department officials in Pike County say they are working with the heath department’s medical director, State’s Attorney, local law enforcement and other local leaders to ensure citizens and businesses follow best practices to stop the spread of the virus.
The Pike County Health Department is also emphasizing to residents and business owners the importance of following the amendments to the communicable disease code put into place by Governor J.B. Pritzker in August, including making a reasonable effort to require employees, customers and individuals over the age of two years old to wear a face covering, and maintain six feet of social distancing, and keeping gatherings to no more than 50 people.
The Schuyler County Heath Department is reporting an outbreak today at the Webster Elementary School in Rushville.
Health Department Officials say two positive cases have been confirmed at the school, and they are working to identify close contacts. Webster Elementary is working with the Schuyler County Health Department and following guidance from IDPH to contain the spread. They say the school will continue to monitor students and staff for symptoms.
Both Health Departments are asking area residents to quarantine if informed of being in close contact with a positive case, and get tested for the virus at the first onset of symptoms.