West Central IL Hits Post-Thanksgiving COVID Surge

By Benjamin Cox on December 7, 2020 at 6:25pm

West Central Illinois saw a mass surge of cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, as 10 more deaths were reported across the region.

The Morgan County Health Department has reported 85 new cases of COVID-19 today, along with 6 new deaths.

The following were deaths recorded in Morgan County over the weekend:
A female in her 60s passed away at an area hospital on Friday.
A male in his 80’s at a long-term care facility, a female in her 90’s at a long-term care facility, a male in his 90’s at a long-term care facility, and a female in her 80’s at an area hospital on Saturday.
A male in his 90s passed away at an area hospital yesterday.

The Health Department also received confirmation of an outbreak of COVID-19 at Gateway Foundation in Jacksonville. Two staff members and 11 residents have tested positive for COVID-19. MCHD is actively working with Gateway and will continue to work with the facility to ensure the isolation of positive cases and provide ongoing infection prevention efforts.

Currently, there are 360 active cases in the county, with 18 hospitalized, and now 61 overall deaths from COVID-19 in Morgan County. There are also 419 people under quarantine due to close contact with a positive individual in the county.

Schuyler County health officials announced 61 new cases of the virus from over the weekend. The Schuyler County Health Department is reporting an outbreak at The Illinois Department of Human Services Treatment and Detention Facility in Rushville. There are currently 45 confirmed cases related to DHS.

The Schuyler County Health Department is also reporting an outbreak at Rushville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. There are currently 34 confirmed cases related to that long-term care facility. There are currently 94 active cases of the virus in Schuyler County overall.

The Pike County Health Department was notified of 30 new cases of COVID-19 today. The health department was also notified of 2 additional COVID-related deaths, 2 males in their 80s. Pike County currently has 131 active cases, with 12 hospitalized, and now 32 overall COVID-related deaths.

The Brown County Public Health Department reported 5 new cases of COVID-19 today from over the weekend. Brown County is currently reporting 88 active cases, with 3 currently hospitalized.

The Greene County Health Department is reporting 5 new positive cases of the virus today, along with 2 additional deaths from over the weekend. 1 of the new positive cases is at a long-term care facility. Greene County currently has 121 active cases, and has now had 37 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

The Cass County Health Department reported 65 new cases of COVID-19 today from over the weekend. Over the weekend, 13 new cases were reported to public health officials with an additional 52 new cases today. All of the cases were a result of community spread transmission. Cass County currently has 227 active cases, with 4 currently hospitalized. CCHD announced it will also be providing more detailed statistics on the demographics of cases in their Friday media releases moving forward.

Governor J.B. Pritzker is saying that the next two weeks will be crucial for hospitals battling COVID-19. Pritzker said today that hospitals are less equipped to handle a surge in COVID-19 cases around the state as they were during the Spring and Summer months. Pritzker says that statewide hospitalizations are 14% higher than the state’s Spring peak during the beginning of the pandemic. Pritzker says the next 4 weeks of the holiday season are crucial to keep hospitals function across the state, because he says the state is unable to handle a large surge due to large family and friend gatherings during the upcoming holidays.

As of this past Friday, Region 3 saw the lowest number of available ICU beds since the beginning of the pandemic. Region 3 encompasses the entire WLDS/WEAI listening area. The shortage is currently the worst in the state. According to WICS on Friday, only 20 ICU beds were available. Test positivity rates range between 6-12% across the listening area. Scott County currently has the lowest at 6.2%. Pike currently has the highest at 13.1%.

Despite the surge in hospitalizations, hospitals in the region are still asking members of the public to seek treatment if they need urgent care.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 8,691 new cases of COVID-19 today along with 90 additional deaths. Over 5,100 people are in the hospital with the virus across the state, including over 1,200 in ICU. The preliminary 7-day statewide positivity rate is currently 10.3%.