Positive cases keep increasing, new high record is set again

By GARY HENRY ghenry@prairiepress.net
Posted 11/16/20

Edgar County is experiencing a rising number of positive COVID-19 tests.

Information posted to the Edgar County Public Health Department’s webpage shows the period from Nov. 7 to Nov. 12 …

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Positive cases keep increasing, new high record is set again

Posted

Edgar County is experiencing a rising number of positive COVID-19 tests.

Information posted to the Edgar County Public Health Department’s webpage shows the period from Nov. 7 to Nov. 12 eclipsed the previous week, which to that point had the largest number of positive tests in a week.

The website had not updated Friday, Nov. 13, in time to include those numbers and show a full seven-day range. Still, the 92 positive cases posted for the six-day period since Nov. 7 is the largest increase seen.

The positive cases are a mix of 44 lab-confirmed tests and 48 positive rapid tests. 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.

Fortunately, no new deaths were reported, and Edgar County’s COVID-19 death toll remains at 12. However, hospitalizations spiked. The week started Nov. 7 with four people in the hospital and by Thursday, Nov. 12, that number jumped to 10.

So far, 562 Edgar County residents are confirmed to have contracted the virus and 425 are deemed recovered. During the first week of the November, 9.7% of all COVID-19 tests in Edgar County were producing a positive result. A more recent figure was not available. The state’s target goal is a positivity rate of 8% or less.

A demographic breakdown of lab-confirmed positives in the prior six days shows a community-wide spread across genders and ages with: one male in the 0-9 age category; 4 females in the 10-19 category; 2 males in the 10-19 category; 3 females in their 20s; 2 males in their 20s; 2 females in their 30s; 1 male in his 30s; 2 females in their 40s; 4 females in their 40s; 4 females in their 50s; 4 males in their 50s; 5 females in their 50s; 2 females in their 60s; 5 females in the 70 plus category; and 3 males in the 70 plus category.

What is happening in Edgar County is consistent with the rest of state, which just experienced multiple days of record new cases. The state reported 15,415 new confirmed and probable cases Friday, Nov. 13, which is another new record since the outbreak started.

Almost all counties, including Edgar, are in orange warning status, which can trigger mitigation measures resulting in early closings for businesses, prohibiting indoor service at bars and restaurants and reducing gatherings to a maximum 25 people.

On Thursday, Nov. 12, Gov. JB Pritzker urged Illinois residents to stay home as much as possible during the next three weeks to help slow the spread. The administration stopped short of issuing another shelter in place order, but the new request seeks to have residents follow the earlier guidelines by staying at home except to go to work, or school, obtain groceries or go to the doctor.

Pritzker warned a failure to bring the number of new cases down could result in more drastic actions in the future.