West Central IL COVID Numbers Rise As Governor Warns of Looming Mitigations

By Benjamin Cox on October 27, 2020 at 5:35am

Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the area.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed three cases of COVID-19 in Cass County. A positive result was received over the weekend, with two more received yesterday. Positive individuals include a male in his 40s, a male in his 70s, and a female in her 90s. The reported case of a female in her 90s is a case of reinfection. This means that she tested positive previously more than 90 days ago, with negative results since then. Based on her previous test, she will not be counted again toward Cass County’s overall numbers. Cass County’s overall COVID-19 case count is now at 462. The active case count is at 14, with 91 individuals on quarantine. One case remains hospitalized.

A total of 23 inmates and 43 members of the Morgan County community were confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 over the weekend. The Morgan County Health Department also received confirmation of the death of a male in his 60’s who was hospitalized in Springfield yesterday. Morgan County’s overall COVID-19 case count is now 935, with 119 active cases, 7 currently hospitalized, and 178 people on quarantine. Morgan County now has 26 deaths related to the virus. The Jacksonville Correctional Center now has had 304 inmates and 14 staff test positive for the virus.

The Greene County Health Department confirmed 9 new positive cases yesterday and 4 new positives on Saturday, along with 2 additional deaths. The deaths are related to the long-term care facility outbreak at White Hall Nursing & Rehabilitation. Greene County has had 330 overall positive cases of COVID-19, with 46 cases currently active and now 19 confirmed deaths.

The Scott County Healthy Department is reporting 7 new cases of COVID-19 since last Monday. Scott County’s total case count is currently at 115, with 15 cases currently remaining isolated.

Schuyler County Health officials reported 7 new cases of COVID-19 since Thursday. Schuyler County has had 90 overall cases, with 15 currently active.

WICS Newschannel 20 reports that North Mac School District has gone full remote after a supposed link to an unofficial homecoming celebration in Auburn. North Mac Superintendent Jay Goble told WICS that the Sangamon County Health Department notified the district that 86 students may have potentially been exposed to the virus but no specific events were cited in their communication. The Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office also allegedly checked the event held in rural Auburn in an 8000 square foot pole barn said the event was in compliance with IDPH guidelines. North Mac will be on remote learning until November 9th, while Auburn is scheduled to return to in-person learning on November 2nd. The Sangamon County Health Department has not commented on whether the students’ exposure came directly from the large gathering or not.

Governor J.B. Pritzker and IDPH have announced that resurgence mitigations will be implemented in EMS Regions 4 & 10, which encompass the Metro East and Suburban Cook County respectively, on Wednesday.

Region 4 has had a 7-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8 percent or above for three consecutive days. Region 10 has had eight consecutive days of increases in test positivity and seven days of increased hospital admissions making it the first region in the state to meet the metrics for additional mitigations in this way and surpass warning levels in two categories simultaneously. The sustained increases seen in the regions exceed the thresholds set for establishing mitigation measures under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.

The increased mitigations include no indoor bar and restaurant service. Bars, casinos, gaming parlors, & restaurants are also expected to close by 11PM each day. Large meetings are limited to 25 people or 25% of capacity.

Currently four of the state’s 11 regions have positivity rates above the public health department’s 8% threshold for resurgence mitigations. Regions 5, 7, and 8 are currently operating under additional mitigations as the regions continue to report a 7-day rolling positivity rate above 8%. Region 1 is currently operating under Tier 2 mitigation measures after experiencing reporting a positivity rate greater than 8% for 14 days despite Tier 1 mitigation measures being in place.

Pritzker says the the other regions are not doing well either: “The remaining regions, which have not triggered heightened mitigations are also trending in a bad direction. Region 11, the City of Chicago, is now seeing an average positivity rate of 7.7%, and Regions 3 & 6 are both at 7.8%. In Region 9, Lake & McHenry counties, is reporting its first day of an average positivity rate above the 8% threshold for mitigations at 8.1%. If the region remains above the 8% threshold for the next 2 days, it could enter a period of additional mitigations possibly later this week.”

IDPH yesterday reported 4,729 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 17 additional deaths. The rolling 7-day statewide positivity rate is currently 6.3%.