Cases hold steady, for now

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With a steady total of 20-25 cases per day, Monroe County Health Department Administrator John Wagner said he is hoping the county is at the top of its COVID “bell curve.”

Previously, Wagner explained other locations across the country tended to show Delta-related cases followed a “bell-shaped curve” pattern where they would rise, remain steady for a while and then continue to decline. He is now hoping Monroe County will start to see a slow decline in cases, followed by a sharp decline. 

When asked about the Delta variant leveling off at last week’s Columbia Chamber of Commerce meeting, Monroe County Public Safety Director for 911 & Emergency Management Kevin Scheibe echoed Wagner’s observation.

“There is truth to that, especially in our county, but statewide it’s starting to level off as well. Now, do we put that toward more people being vaccinated?” Scheibe said. 

As of mid-day Tuesday, Wagner reported 112 active cases and two local hospitalizations. These figures are on par with what Monroe County has been seeing the past few weeks. 

Wagner said some of these cases are in area nursing home staff and patients. However, he said there have been no large outbreaks in these facilities due to the vast majority of residents being vaccinated. 

Monroe County’s COVID death total has remained at 99 since late last week. Wagner said he is not aware of any COVID deaths in the county of fully vaccinated individuals. 

The latest death, reported Friday, was a 99-year-old female.

As of press time, Illinois Department of Public Health data shows 52.21 percent of eligible Monroe County residents have been fully vaccinated. 

The next COVID vaccination clinic takes place from 3:30-5:30 p.m. this Thursday, Sept. 23 at the health department office, 1315 Jamie Lane, Waterloo. To schedule an appointment, call or text 618-612-6404 or 618-340-4819. 

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