LEE COUNTY — The exceptionally large number of cases being reported in Illinois on Friday, Sept. 4 is a result of a slowdown in data processing within IDPH systems that affected the reporting of aggregate result numbers due to the large volume of testing occurring in Illinois. On Friday, Sept. 4, the Illinois Department of Health reported 5,368 new confirmed cases. System upgrades have been implemented and the backlog has been cleared. Upgrades will provide the system significantly faster capacity. The slowdown did not delay reporting of positive or negative results to individuals.
The Unified Executive Leadership Team would like to wish all Lee County residents a happy and safe Labor Day weekend. The team is concerned that gatherings without masks or social distancing could lead to a spike in cases over the next couple of weeks.
Lee County has already exceeded the state target for new cases per 100,000 for the last several weeks. If another county metric does the same, the county would be placed on the warning list for Illinois. Region-1, which includes Lee County, has seen a trend of increased positivity rates. Some regions have had to implement additional mitigation measures as a result of their metrics. Measures can vary by region, but to learn more about regional metrics and additional mitigation strategies, see: https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/restore-illinois-mitigation-plan
Between Aug. 31 and Sept. 5, the Lee County Health Department has reported a total of 28 new cases have been reported: 1 in his or her teens, 6 in his or her 20s, 2 in his or her 30s, 4 in his or her 40s, 4 in his or her 50s, 2 in his or her 60s, and 2 in his or her 70s.
This brings the total number of cases to 269. Seven other reported cases are in Dixon Correctional Center inmates. Of the 269 cases, 225 have recovered. Currently, there are 4 residents hospitalized due to COVID-19.
The Unified Command Team would like to remind our community that COVID-19 remains in our area and continues to be a real threat. Some people who have tested positive have had no symptoms or mild symptoms. Others have felt miserable or even been hospitalized. Although there are individuals considered at a higher risk for complications due to COVID-19, some otherwise healthy people have also become very sick. The more the virus spreads & the more cases we have locally, the risk of very ill or hospitalized individuals increases.
Please, for yourself and others, follow the state and federal recommendations. It’s easy to remember as the 3 W’s: Wash your hands; Watch your distance; and Wear your mask. We don’t want to backtrack from the great work our community has done.
Also, we’d like to mention the process of contact tracing. If your local health department tries to contact you, please answer or return their call. Some people may feel distrustful or afraid of the term “contact tracing.” This is actually a strategy used for many years in public health to reduce the spread of infectious disease. Contact tracing is a critical piece of our mitigation efforts against COVID-19. More information can be found at this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/contact-tracing.html
What to do if you think you have or have been exposed to COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals with symptoms SHOULD NOT GO to health care facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and urgent care centers without CALLING FIRST. Instead, they can seek care by using one of the following options:
Anyone with COVID-19 like symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, chills, sudden loss of taste and or smell and fever) OR who have a risk factor, such as contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, a compromised immune system or a serious chronic medical condition can get a test, even without a doctor’s order.
And now the following people can be tested with or without symptoms.
• Work in health care facility
• Work in correctional facilities, such as jails or prisons
• Serve as first responders, such as paramedics, emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers, or firefighters
• Support critical infrastructure , such as workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, gas stations, public utilities, factories, childcare and sanitation.
Call the KSB Hotline Monday-Friday, 9-5 at 285-7777 to determine eligibility for testing.