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QC Mayors and Health Officials Warn COVID-19 is Surging

Marianna Bacallao, WVIK News

Daily COVID-19 cases in the Quad Cities have tripled in recent weeks, shattering previous highs set during the summer. ICUs are operating at full capacity, and some local businesses have been forced to close. 

Today, the mayors of Davenport, Moline, and Rock Island joined local health officials to issue a warning: wear your mask, wash your hands, and keep your distance—before it's too late.

"We want to keep things open," Mayor Mike Mattson says. "But we need your help. And we need your help now so that our health care professionals, our first responders are not overwhelmed."
Doug Cropper, President and CEO of Genesis Health System also made a plea for the Quad Cities to follow CDC guidelines. 

"You may not be directly impacted by COVID-19 in the future. However, if these trends continue in our region, you or a family member may need hospital services that would be temporarily suspended or delayed due to this COVID-19 surge."

Cropper has spoken to ICU nurses working 18 hour shifts, and none of them have contracted the virus. 

Two men protested against COVID-19 restrictions at the Vander Veer park press conference on Thursday morning.

"Why? Because we protect them with personal protective equipment and masks. And yet we know that others who have got COVID-19 because of the absence of that, that's why we ask for their compliance. The nurses the other day, I was just talking with them two days ago, they said, 'Doug, these protect us,' and they pointed to their N95 masks." 

As cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to rise, Cropper's worried about staff burnout, ICU capacity, and the impending Flu season. 
Genesis' 7-day average for positive tests is running at 12%. And he says it will be at least 6-9 months before herd immunity helps mitigate the spread. 

Marianna Bacallao is WVIK Quad Cities NPR's 2020-2021 Fellowship Host/Reporter. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism and served as Editor-in-Chief for the student newspaper, The Cluster.
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