After a large number of new CoViD-19 cases announced for the period of December 29th – January 2nd, the Egyptian Health Department tallied another large one day total for Monday, January 3rd. New cases totaled 244 across the tri-county region over the 5 day holiday period including 58 in White County and more than 160 in Saline County. With yesterday’s numbers now out, Saline County continues to be hammered with 64 new cases reported on Monday. White County added 19 new cases and Gallatin County adds a dozen more. Furthermore, 2 Saline County residents have died and another White County resident has reportedly lost their life due to CoViD-19 or complications resulting from the virus. The new cases reported Monday almost double the per day new cases seen over the holiday 5 day period. The surge in cases across the country and region is being blamed on the Omicron variant. Egyptian Health officials say to enhance contact tracing efforts, the state of Illinois is implementing a new process. Beginning January 13th, all positive CoViD-19 diagnoses and close contacts will be managed through the State Surge Center. The health department will only be involved with cases in congregate care facilities including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and jails/prisons. Additionally, due to the increasing amount of self reported positive home tests and recent changes in contact tracing, the health department will cease providing daily CoViD-19 updates and instead the Surge Center will take over all cases on January 13th.