Deaths exceed the 100 mark in Edgar County

By GARY HENRY ghenry@prairiepress.net
Posted 1/10/22

The Edgar County Public Health Department’s website passed a grim milestone this past week when the number of COVID-19 deaths climbed to 107.

It was a startling jump since the death total …

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Deaths exceed the 100 mark in Edgar County

Posted

The Edgar County Public Health Department’s website passed a grim milestone this past week when the number of COVID-19 deaths climbed to 107.

It was a startling jump since the death total had remained at 83 since Dec. 9.

Janet Mason, administrator at the ECPHD, said the large jump does not mean 24 deaths occurred in a single week. The local health department does not update the numbers until confirmation is received from the Illinois Department of Public Health and those death reports tend to come in blocks, rather than a time-related fashion.

Mason did not know the time span for when the 24 deaths occurred

That is one reason the ECPHD plans to stop posting updates on local COVID statistics because the information is not always arriving in a timely manner. The website will have a link taking people directly to the state website where updated numbers are available.

What is obvious from the local health department’s website is the local COVID-19 surge is not slowing. There were 194 county residents who tested positive between Dec. 30 and Jan. 6. The week prior new cases were numbered at 116, and the numbers have remained in the triple-digits for the last few weeks.

Mason added local health officials do not know which strain is at work in Edgar County as that information is not supplied to them by the state.

“Ninety-five percent of the cases in the U.S. are omicron, but we don’t get reports back about the county breakdown,” said Mason.

The one bright spot is a decline in the number of people hospitalized. The most recent week started with 20 people in the hospital, and it closed with nine such cases.

The Edgar County Health Department continues offering free vaccination clinics that include the ability to obtain a booster. Pfizer’s booster for children is now approved for anyone who is 12 to 17 years, and the waiting period for the adult Pfizer booster was recently decreased to only five months.

As of Jan. 6, Edgar County still had not broken the 42% level of fully vaccinated. The numbers were 7,261 people considered fully vaccinated for a 41.83%. A total of 3,027 boosters have been given in the county.

Vaccination clinics at the health department are: 9 a.m.-noon Jan. 13; 9 a.m.-noon, Jan. 20; 2-4 p.m., Jan. 24; 4-6 p.m. for Pfizer pediatric Jan. 24; 9 a.m.-noon Jan. 27; and 4-6 p.m. Jan. 31.

Appointments may be made at ecphd.org or by calling 217-294-2838 or 217-294-2728.