COVID deaths added to county’s count
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “community level” for COVID-19 transmission and hospital capacity is down for Monroe County, the Illinois Department of Public Health recently added two new COVID-related deaths to the county total.
After holding steady at 133 deaths for the past two months, one death was added last Wednesday and another Thursday, bringing Monroe County’s total to 135.
The CDC classified Monroe County’s COVID community level as “low” last week after being in the “medium” category the week prior.
The CDC reported Monroe County has having 14, 13, and 15 new COVID cases daily on Dec. 7, 8 and 9, respectively. The number of new local cases declined to one, three and three on Dec. 10, 11 and 12.
COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses are continuing to rise across Illinois following the Thanksgiving holiday, with 74 counties in Illinois rated at an elevated level by the CDC.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said this anticipated post-holiday surge is a reminder for the public to take action to protect themselves and their loved ones during the remainder of the holiday season.
IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said those who test positive for COVID-19 should immediately contact their healthcare provider to discuss whether they need treatment with an antiviral medication such as Paxlovid, Lagverio or Remdesivir.
All of these have been found to work against the current strains of the virus.
The CDC authorized two new bivalent booster vaccines on Sept. 1 that include an mRNA component of the original strain to provide an immune response that is broadly protective against COVID-19 and an added mRNA component in common between the omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5 lineages to provide better protection against COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant.
Data indicates the risk of hospitalization and severe outcomes from COVID-19 is much higher for unvaccinated people than for those who are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found at idph.illinois.gov/covid19.html.
To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to vaccines.gov.
COVID vaccinations are also administered by appointment at the Monroe County Health Department, 1315 Jamie Lane, Waterloo.
To schedule an appointment, call or text 618-612-6695.