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Ogle County remains below warning level in most risk indicators for COVID-19

Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 6:31 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - While most counties in region one of the restore Illinois plan battle high COVID-19 positivity rates, Ogle County is one of the only left not at warning level.

“We are not in warning right now most of our other neighboring counties are," Ogle County Public Health Administrator Kyle Auman said.

Auman says the county’s positivity rate is just below eight percent when some neighboring counties are at or above that number. Ogle County is below warning level in seven of the eight risk indicators and Auman says that has a lot to do with preventing the spread of the disease.

“The only thing I can really attribute that to is aggressive contact tracing and early exclusion of symptomatic people from the healthy population,” Auman said.

Auman says the Ogle County Health Department placed an emphasis on contact tracing early.

“The state expected us to hire 15 contact tracers per hundred thousand population and we’re probably over that we have pretty much eight full-time contact tracers,” Auman said.

Some restaurant owners in Ogle County say they don’t want to be restricted if the numbers in their county don’t call for it.

“We feel that the restrictions were enacted in policies that we’re three or four months past and we feel it should be updated," Owner of Cork & Tap in Oregon Jason ONeil said.

“I don’t really think we should be held to all of those restrictions," Owner of Magnolia Sweets and Co. in Oregon Elizabeth Zigler said. “It’s had a negative impact on business for sure.”

Auman says even though COVID-19 metrics in Ogle County are lower he believes now is not the time to throw caution to the wind.

“Seeing you know only 33 percent med surge availability and 42 percent ICU availability that’s concerning,” Auman said. "So to be lumped into county or the regional metrics it makes a lot of sense to me

Auman says he hopes to hire more contact tracers in Ogle County to try and combat any increase the county will see in the winter months.

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