Last weekend, Monroe County reached a milestone it never hoped it would.
Monroe County Health Administrator John Wagner reported Monday the county’s 100th COVID-related death, and he reported Friday that the number has grown to 102 and one more may be added soon.
Wagner said the 100th case was a male in his 60s.
The newest reported deaths are a female in her 60s and a female in her 80s.
The Illinois Department of Public Health still had not recorded the most recent deaths on its website as of Tuesday afternoon.
“The 100 COVID deaths doesn’t mean they all died 100 percent of COVID,” Wagner said.
As the Republic-Times previously explained, if COVID-19 is listed as a “contributing factor” on a death certificate, that death will end up on Illinois Department of Public Health’s count.
For the newests deaths listed, Wagner said both individuals had COVID before they died, but may not have necessarily died of COVID-related complications.
“These (deaths) are not strictly people dying in the hospital with active COVID cases,” Wagner stressed.
As of early afternoon Friday, Wagner counted 66 active cases in the county and four hospitalizations. Recently, the county has been logging 5-7 new cases per day, Wagner said.
IDPH data shows 53.11 percent of Monroe County’s eligible population is fully vaccinated. Wagner said the vaccine clinics his office have been hosting have been successful.
In fact, this week’s clinic is fully booked.
Last Thursday’s clinic saw about 50 doses, Wagner said.
“That’s about all we can give in an afternoon … at our site here,” Wagner said, noting all recipients must be observed for 15 minutes after being inoculated.
The Monroe County Health Department is currently a series of clinics at the fairgrounds and one Saturday, Oct. 9 during Waterloo Pumpkinfest.
In response to the growing demand for COVID vaccinations, the Illinois Department of Public Health will be having a free vaccination clinic during PumpkinFest. The Pfizer-BioNTech will be available to those age 12 and older. Those interested may schedule an appointment ahead of time by clicking here. Appointments are not necessary.
From 1:30-4 p.m. next Thursday, Oct. 14, health department staff will host a Pfizer “booster” drive-thru clinic at the fairgrounds. While the clinic is largely intended to fill booster dose needs, those wanting a first or second dose may do so as well.
Booster doses need to match one’s initial doses, and currently the FDA has only approved the Pfizer booster dose for those ages 65 and above and those 18-64 who are at risk due to their environment or other factors.
In turn, those wanting the Pfizer booster at this drive-thru clinic must show their vaccination card so staff can ensure their first two doses were Pfizer.
At Monday’s Monroe County Board meeting, Wagner recommended that anyone 65 and above who received the initial Pfizer series get the booster.
“You’ve already had two (rounds of vaccination), one more is not going to be any worse,” Wagner said, speaking to those hesitant to get the booster.
Flu vaccine clinics will also be held at the fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13 and Wednesday, Oct. 20.
The health department noted there will be multiple types of flu shots available and costs vary depending on the type of shot and an individual’s insurance coverage. The health department will determine the appropriate flu shot for each person.
As always, COVID vaccines are free.