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Public Health Alert Issued for White, Gallatin, & Saline Counties

PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT
SALINE, GALLATIN & WHITE COUNTIES ARE AT COVID-19 WARNING LEVEL

The Illinois Department of Public Health is announcing that Saline, Gallatin and White Counties are at COVID-19 WARNING LEVEL.  A county enters a warning level when it experiences an increase in two or more COVID-19 risk indicators from the states’ COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigation plan. These risk indicators include:

  • New Cases per 100,000
  • Number of Deaths
  • Weekly Test Positivity
  • ICU Availability
  • Weekly Emergency Department Visits
  • Weekly Hospital Admissions
  • Tests Performed
  • Clusters

Egyptian Health Department attributes the most recent spike in cases to an outbreak in a local church and other activities posing higher risk for disease spread. EHD will be working with local officials to implement mitigation measures to help slow the spread of the virus.

Residents are URGED to continue to follow the 3 W’s; Wearing a Face Covering, Watching Your Distance (6 ft) and Washing Your Hands— as these interventions have been proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. EHD officials are finding that most close contacts to cases are testing positive as well.
What this means for individuals:
Please continue to follow the 3 W’s to slow the spread of COVID-19. It is also very important to answer your phone if you are being contacted by the health department contact tracing team.
What this means for businesses:
Please reach out to EHD if you need more information regarding the workplace guidelines. We will be working with local officials to implement mitigation measures.

A county enters a warning level when it experiences an increase in two or more COVID-19 risk indicators from the state’s COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigation. These risk indicators include:

  • New cases per 100,000 people: A warning is triggered if there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the county.
  • Number of deaths: A warning is triggered when the weekly number of deaths increases more than 20% for two weeks in a row.
  • Weekly test positivity: A warning is triggered when the seven-day test positivity rate rises above 8%.
  • ICU availability: A warning is triggered if there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region.
  • Weekly emergency department visits: A warning is triggered when the weekly percentage of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20% for two weeks in a row.
  • Weekly hospital admissions: A warning is triggered when the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like-illness increases by more than 20% for two weeks in a row.
  • Tests perform: This provides context and indicates if more testing is needed in a county.
  • Clusters: This looks at the percentage of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks. It is used to understand large increases in cases.

State officials said these counties are experiencing outbreaks associated with business operations and many activities, including graduation ceremonies, parties and social gatherings, people going to bars, long-term care facility outbreaks, people attending church services, people going to restaurants, and big sporting events.

In addition, officials reported that many people are not wearing face coverings, which is contributing to the spread.

The state also said most close contacts to cases are also testing positive.

However, Illinois officials said many counties are taking action to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes hospitals and nursing homes suspending visitors, and the requirement of bar employees to wear masks or be subject to fines, which is happening in Springfield.

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