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COVID-19: Updates for Friday, Oct. 23rd

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Michelle O'Neill
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WVIK News
Line graphs showing COVID-19 case counts in Rock Island County (above) and Scott County

The Quad Cities recorded its highest number of new, COVID-19 cases today at 211. The total number of cases during the pandemic has now reached 8,318. 

Scott County reports a new high of 133 new cases, for a total of 4,301. And and Rock Island County's new, daily high case number is 78, for a total of 4,017 since mid-March. 

It's demoralizing.

Janet Hill from the Rock Island County Health Department says the county has never had so many cases reported in one day, and "it's de-moralizing."

Another Illinois Quad Cities resident has also died (a man in his 90s who was in the hospital), and the total number of coronavirus deaths in Rock Island County is now 99. Scott County has reported 37 deaths for a total of 136 in the Quad Cities. 

Hill also says, "We fear Quad Citians are tuning out our messages just as the virus is surging. You might be done with COVID, but COVID is not done with us. We are bracing for months of being indoors, where the virus spreads more easily. If it’s this bad in October, just think how many Quad Citians will get sick and how many will die this winter."

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Credit http://www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics?county=Rock%20Island / Illinois Department of Public Health
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Illinois Department of Public Health
Rock Island County is one of 51 Illinois counties at a warning level for not meeting IDPH COVID-19 target levels.

In addition, today marks the third time Rock Island County has been included in the Illinois counties that have reached a warning level. The Illinois Department of Public Health says 51 counties are now at a warning level for COVID-19. 

In northwestern Illinois, those counties include Rock Island, Whiteside, Mercer, Carroll, Henderson, Jo Daviess, Knox, Lee, and Warren. 

The agency says common factors for the increase in cases and outbreaks include gatherings in people’s homes, bars and clubs, weddings, funerals, college parties, and sports. The jump is also associated with long term care centers, prisons, jails, schools, and cases among the community, especially people in their 20s. 

Illinois public health officials also say they have observed businesses blatantly disregarding mitigation measures, people not social distancing, large group gatherings, and people not using face coverings.

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Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News
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WVIK News

In Illinois Region 2, the current seven-day rolling average of positive new tests is 7%. In Rock Island County, it's 9.1%. The state target is 8% or lower.

Also on Friday, district officials announced an elementary school in Moline will close for the next two weeks because of an increase in positive cases of COVID-19. According to the school district, the current number of staff and students who are excluded from in-person learning has been growing at Jane Addams Elementary. 

Teachers will offer full-time remote learning to students starting Monday (10/26), and continuing through Friday, November 6th. 

The Rock Island County Health Department recommended Addams be close as a precautionary measure to minimize further spread. The school and all its classrooms will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized while its closed. All extracurricular activities at Addams are also suspended for two weeks. 

Other Moline schools are not affected and will continue to hold blended, in-person learning. Free meals may be picked up on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at Wilson and John Deere Middle Schools, from 9:30-11:30 am.

(October 21, 2020)

Another Scott County resident has died from COVID-19, bringing the county total to 37 and the Quad Cities total to 134. The number of deaths in Rock Island County remained at 97 as of 10/21/2020. In addition, Scott and Rock Island counties report 115 new cases for a total of 8,001. 

Ed Rivers is the Director of the Scott County Health Department. "We get asked over and over, why is our community experiencing such a surge? The easy answer is that not enough of our community are doing the scientifically proven things that would slow the spread, masking, distancing, quarantining, and isolating when appropriate. And as we become more lax at doing these scientifically proven things, our cases begin to rise. Quickly." 

So, he says if you're sick, be sure to stay home. And follow all the recommendations health officials have been promoting. 

Data from the Iowa Department of Public Health shows so far, about 70% of Scott County's COVID-19 cases have recovered. But positive tests are averaging 10.1% over the last 14 days.

 
Test positivity is also one way the Illinois Department of Public Health tracks the spread of the coronavirus. And for five days in a row, Rock Island County's seven-day rolling average has been higher than the state target of 8% or lower. So it's in danger of being "warned" with a current rate of 9.6%. The county's 123 cases per 100,000 people is also higher than the state target.  

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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