Region reaching target COVID metrics

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COVID cases are continuing to decrease across the region, and Monroe County is no exception. 

According to Monroe County Health Department Administrator John Wagner, things have been “quiet” as far as COVID lately. He said schools have not seen any substantial increases in cases since they rolled back mask mandates last month. 

According to Illinois Department of Public Health data from Feb. 20-26, Monroe County reached a target level for test positivity at 3 percent. The only metric in the “warning” category was new cases per 100,000. The data showed there are 76 cases per 100,000 residents, with the target figure being 50.

At the same time, he warned state-reported COVID data may not be 100 percent accurate as so many are using at-home tests. 

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force – whose data now includes BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health, St. Luke’s Hospital and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs area systems – reported that it had 163 COVID-positive hospitalizations as of Thursday. There were 33 COVID-positive individuals in the ICU, with 17 requiring ventilators. 

In total, over 65 percent of those hospitalized in the St. Louis area are unvaccinated, task force data indicated Thursday.

Per IDPH data, 60.81 percent of Monroe County’s eligible population is fully vaccinated (two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of J&J) and over 10,600 booster doses have been administered. 

The Monroe County Health Department is hosting adult vaccine clinics (Pfizer for ages 12 and up, Moderna for ages 18 and older) on Tuesdays and Thursdays in March from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and Fridays in March from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Clinics will run from 1-3:45 p.m. on Mondays beginning Monday, March 14. 

Kids ages 5-11 can be vaccinated on Wednesdays March 9, 23 and 30 from 2-4 p.m. 

All clinics will be at the health department office, 1315 Jamie Lane, Waterloo. Appointments are recommended, not required, and can be made by calling or texting 618-612-6695.

Recently, the health department issued three separate warnings for the following COVID tests, stating they have not been “authorized, cleared or approved” by the FDA: SD Biosensor Standard Q COVID Ag Home Test, ACON Laboratories’ test named “Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Self-Testing),” and Celltrion DiaTrust COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test (the one in green packaging).”

For images of these tests, visit the Monroe County, IL Health Department Facebook page. 

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