New COVID-19 cases remain low

By GARY HENRY ghenry@prairiepress.net
Posted 2/22/21

The rate of increase with new COVID-19 cases in Edgar County continues to be low.

Between Feb. 13 and Feb. 18, the Edgar County Public Health Department’s website reported only nine new …

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New COVID-19 cases remain low

Posted

The rate of increase with new COVID-19 cases in Edgar County continues to be low.

Between Feb. 13 and Feb. 18, the Edgar County Public Health Department’s website reported only nine new cases in the lab-confirmed and probable categories. People using the rapid tests are listed as probable because the Illinois Department of Public Health does not consider the rapid tests as accurate as the lab tests. People testing positive on a rapid test are still required to self-isolate, and the health department does contact tracing on them.

The website did not update in time Friday, Feb. 19, to include any data from that date in the story.

Other significant categories of measurement remained consistent during the week with a total of 12 people hospitalized for treatment, and no new deaths were reported. The death toll remains at 55 people.

New lab-confirmed cases were spread among non-senior citizens: Males 10-19, one new case; female in her 30s, one new case; male in his 30s, one new case; female in her 50s, one new case; male in his 50s, one new case; and female in her 60s, one new case.

The slow spread of new cases is a blessing for the Edgar County Health Department, which is still receiving a minimal amount of vaccine.

According to a release from the health department, Edgar County did not receive any first doses for the week between Feb. 14 and Feb. 20, although vaccine to administer second doses was received.

An improvement is anticipated for the week of Feb. 21 to Feb. 27.

“The health department is expecting a small number of first doses and the full allotment of second doses,” said Monica Dunn, assistant administrator.

Dunn added receipt of the first doses means the ECPHD can continue inoculating educators outside of Paris and people 65 and older for as long as it lasts.

Counties are allotted vaccine based on percentage of the state population and a recent communique from the Illinois Department of Public Health to local health departments indicated the state had no extra vaccine to provide and no reserve stock to pull from.

The local health department operates the same way in that all vaccine is administered with none being saved or allowed to go to waste.

So far, 1,985 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Edgar County to individuals in the 1A group (healthcare workers, long-term care employees, pharmacy staff, EMS and others in the medical care fields), and work continues to get the 1B group of those over 65, first responders and educators inoculated.

“Due to supply limitations placed on rural communities by state and federal government, we have only been able to vaccinate 550 for the 65 and older individuals on our list,” said Dunn.

The 65 and older list currently has 2,040 people on it who signed up for the vaccine. Phone registration to get on the list is closed.

More information about how to obtain the vaccine is available at ecphd.org, which links to the state health department’s website.

Dunn urged all to remember the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 is still present in the community and all need to continue wearing masks, do frequent hand washing, social distance and limit unnecessary contact.

In addition to the original virus, it is known that two mutated forms, that are actually more contagious, are in the state.

“Part of our vaccination plan includes recruiting volunteer RNs, LPNs and CMAs to help administer the vaccine,” said Dunn. “If you, or someone you know, meets the qualifications and is interested in volunteering, please send ECPHD an email at covid@ecphd.org.”