COVID levels rise nearby

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While Monroe County remains in the medium category for COVID-19 community spread, neighboring St. Clair and Randolph counties are now listed as high. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following measures for those in areas that rate at a high community level for COVID-19 transmission:

• Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status.

• If immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease, wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection, consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to take other precautions and have a plan for rapid testing if needed.

• If you test positive, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments like oral antivirals and monoclonal antibodies.

• If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease, consider self-testing to detect infection before contact, consider wearing a mask when indoors with them, stay current with vaccines and boosters, maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible, follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19.

Those interested in a COVID-19 vaccination can visit the health department, located at 1315 Jamie Lane in Waterloo, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday or call and make an appointment in advance at 618-612-6695.

Those seeking a second booster shot (adults ages 50-plus at least four months after the first booster qualify) are asked to bring their vaccination card.

The IDPH said it has been supporting pharmacies and healthcare providers in efforts to increase their inventories of various FDA-authorized treatments for the virus. 

There are over 1,200 treatment locations in Illinois – including all the major retail pharmacies. More than 96.7 percent of the state’s population is within a 10-mile radius of one of these locations.

The local health department does not perform COVID testing. Area locations that do offer testing for the virus are Waterloo Urgent Care (907 Illinois Route 3, Waterloo), CVS Pharmacy (100 Admiral Trost Road, Columbia), Walgreens (913 N. Market Street, Waterloo) and Red Bud Regional Hospital (325 Spring Street, Red Bud).

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