COVID levels up again locally

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After being listed as “low” last week, Monroe County is now in the medium category of COVID community spread by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention – as reported Friday by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

“With 94 counties now rated at medium or high community level for COVID-19, we are seeing a slow but steady increase in case counts,” IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars said. “We remind Illinoisans that the most important step they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones is to make sure they are up-to-date with vaccines and booster shots. This is especially important for people who are vulnerable to serious medical outcomes. It is recommended that you wear your mask in indoor public places and avoid indoor crowded spaces at this time. If needed, contact a healthcare provider promptly to discuss what treatment is right for you.”

Cases were up nearly 58 percent in Monroe County for the seven-day period ending July 13, according to the CDC. Neighboring counties Randolph and St. Clair are also listed in the medium category.

For information on COVID vaccine options and availability, call or text 618-612-6695.

According to data, the IDPH removed four suspected COVID-related deaths from its overall total for Monroe County in March upon further review, with four new deaths officially reported since. Those deaths attributed to COVID were reported May 6, May 20, June 24 and July 15. 

The Monroe County COVID-related death toll since the pandemic began now stands at 131.

Those who test positive for COVID on either a home or clinical test should stay home for five days and isolate from others inside the home. 

On the sixth day, those who tested positive can end isolation if fever free for 24 hours without medication or if they never had symptoms. 

On days 6-10, those who tested positive should wear a well-fitting mask when around others, refrain from travel and avoid being around immunocompromised people.

The health department said those who get sick from COVID-19 or have a weakened immune system should isolate for at least 10 days and consult their doctor before ending isolation.

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