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New CDC COVID-19 Levels: Rock Island County-"Medium," Scott County -"Low"

CDC community levels of COVID-19 have been changed to low (green), medium (yellow), and high (orange)
CDC community levels of COVID-19 have been changed to low (green), medium (yellow), and high (orange)

The Rock Island County Health Department says today, the CDC changed its categories for COVID-19 transmission.

The new levels -- "low," "medium," and "high" -- are based not only on cases and test positivity, but also on hospitalizations and hospital capacity. The goal is to more accurately reflect the severity of disease in each community.

The local health department says Rock Island County is now at the "medium" level. That means people with increased risk for serious disease should consider wearing a mask. It also says Scott County is at the "low" level.

Other guidelines have not changed. For example, people with COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone infected with the coronavirus should wear a mask.

In addition, Illinois Governor Pritzker's indoor mask requirement will end Sunday night at midnight. Since he announced the mandate would be lifted, the number of available ICU beds has increased by 24%, and the state's weekly COVID-19 case rate has decreased by 70%.

Masks will still be required in health care facilities, long term care centers, child care settings, and congregate settings, plus on public transit.

Michelle O'Neill

Today, Rock Island County reported six new COVID-19 deaths occurred over the last seven days compared to three the previous week. (On Wednesday, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported four new deaths in Scott County.) Rock Island County also reported 125 new cases, compared to 290 the previous week.

Nineteen county residents are in the hospital with the coronavirus infection compared to 31 a week ago.

The 7-day average test positivity rate is 3.6% compared to 7.0% a week ago. And 57% of the population has been fully vaccinated, up 0.2% since last Friday. Of those eligible to be vaccinated (5-year-olds and older), 60.7% have been fully vaccinated.

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.