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COVID-19 in the QCs: "Teetering on the Point of No Return"

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Michelle O'Neill
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WVIK News
Daily new cases & daily new deaths in the Quad Cities by month as of 11/10/2020

"Explosion," "unmanageable," and "raging" are a few of the words health officials use to describe the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the Quad Cities.

Ed Rivers, from the Scott County Health Department, says his agency recently hired new employees to help limit the spread of the disease when daily case counts were around 120.

But now, daily case counts are even higher.

"With the number of daily cases nearly tripling, we aren’t sure that plan is still viable. We are doing our best, but this surge is nearly unmanageable. Governor Reynolds announced enhanced public health measures will go into effect Wednesday, November 11 at 12:01am. These measures are aimed at the high case counts and positivity rates currently taking place across the state. The measures will include mask requirements for social, community, recreational or leisure gatherings."

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Credit Iowa Department of Public Health
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Iowa Department of Public Health
Screenshot of IDPH summary of new COVID-19 restrictions

Iowa restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, and other businesses must enforce social distancing and limit groups to eight.

Mask and social distance rules will also apply to salons, barbershops, massage therapists, and other personal services.

Employers should also allow people to work from home whenever possible. (See full summary on the left.)

Nita Ludwig, from the Rock Island County Health Department, says Illinois is on the brink of more severe restrictions. The county's seven-day test positivity rate has reached "an alarming" 18.8%.

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Credit submitted / Rock Island & Scott County Health Departments
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Rock Island & Scott County Health Departments

"We are teetering on the point of no return. Science must lead us, but you must follow what it says. Wear your mask. Keep six feet between yourself and others. Wash your hands. And stay home as much as possible, especially if you're ill."

On Monday, Governor J-B Pritzker said he might issue another stay-at-home order, just like the one that lasted more than two months last spring.

The Quad Cities health departments reported more than 260 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, and another Scott County resident has died. They report 161 deaths since mid-March. And the total case count will probably reach 13,000 before the end of the week.

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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