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COVID-19: IL QCs in Danger of More Severe Restrictions

Credit WVIK News

(Updated 9/7/2020)

Rock Island County has reported its highest number of new, daily coronavirus cases, thank in large part to an outbreak at the East Moline Correctional Center. On Monday, the county health department reported 67 new cases (the highest number since the pandemic began), 54 at the prison. On Sunday, 46 of the county's 59 new cases were from the prison. Here's a joint statement from the agencies: 

"The Illinois Department of Corrections remains deliberate and aggressive in its response to COVID-19,” said Lindsey Hess, public information officer for the Illinois Department of Corrections. “East Moline Correctional Center is currently on medical quarantine status with restricted movement. The facility has activated its Incident Command Center and is using FEMA's National Incident Command System model to set and achieve aggressive objectives. IDOC's practices are modified based on new information and technology. We continue to review the latest scientific evidence and remain in close contact with correctional agencies across the nation to identify best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in correctional facilities."

EMCC and IDOC are working with the Rock Island County Health Department. “While inmates do not leave the facility, an outbreak at the prison affects the Quad Cities because staff members live in our community,” said Administrator Nita Ludwig. “We are working closely with prison leadership to do contact tracing on prison personnel to help keep COVID-19 from spreading further into the community and for staff not to bring it back into the prison."  

(Previous version - 9/4/2020)

Credit http://www.dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics?regionID=2 / Illinois Department of Public Health
Illinois Department of Public Health
Several counties in the Quad Cities area have been warned by the IL Dept. of Public Health because of changes in COVID-19 data.

COVID-19 statistics in Rock Island and 28 other Illinois counties are going the wrong way.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says the counties have reached a warning level. 

Nita Ludwig, from the Rock Island County Health Department, reports since March, 68 people have died of the viral infection, and the total number of cases has reached 2,378.

"For several weeks, we’ve been bracing for Rock Island County to move into the state’s warning status. Frankly, we’re surprised that it hasn’t happened yet. The Quad Cities has been a COVID-19 hotspot in Illinois for many months, and Iowa’s positivity rate is among the world’s worst."

The warning is based on data from the last week in August. Since then, Rock Island County has reported an additional 189 cases and ten deaths. So Ludwig expects the county to remain at the warning level for at least two weeks. 

I'll say it again, wear your mask, keep six feet between you and others, and wash your hands.

Rock Island County is one of ten in Region 2 at the state's warning level.

They also include Henry, Bureau, Warren, and Stark counties. So the region is risking a return to more severe restrictions. 

"All bars and restaurants closing at 11 pm, no indoor dining or bar service, no ordering, seating, or congregating at bars, no standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting an establishment, and no dancing or standing indoors."

Besides the 8.1% positivity rate (14-day average), Ludwig says Rock Island County has had a high number of cases and deaths over seven days, and not enough testing.

Illinois Region 2 has a positivity rate of 7.4% for the last week in August, and the goal is to keep it below 8.0%. 

Officially, Michelle's title is WVIK News Editor. She does everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever may be needed around the radio station.
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