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WCHD reiterates some COVID-19 mitigation strategies

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 8:37 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A Stateline COVID-19 surge forces Winnebago County’s top health official to crack down on indoor dining once again amid a rising positivity rate and an increase in cases.

“We have seen our daily numbers of those being tested rise sharply from 60 to 70 individuals per day to 200 or more individuals per day being tested,” Shayna Chiarelli from Crusader Community Health said.

A COVID-19 spike in Winnebago County pushes the rolling seven-day positivity rate to 13.5%. Officials say more people are being tested and hospitals are seeing a surge in patients like never before.

“We’re seeing a very significant surge Illinois and Winnebago County is one of the leading counties and states in the United States with a surge and we all need to be a part of the solution," Chief Medical Officer with OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center Dr. Stephen Bartlett said.

Dr. Bartlett says current COVID-19 patients are fighting a different battle than those who contracted the virus earlier in the year.

“Patients who are now going through the surge tend to be somewhat younger, they’re not quite as ill,” Bartlett said. “Fewer of them are claiming ICU care.”

The recent spike in cases now forces even more restrictions in Winnebago County.

“There is no indoor seating permitted at bars and restaurants," Winnebago County Public Health Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell said.

Dr. Martell says the health department does not have the resources to enforce restrictions in the community but she will report any compliance issues to the state.

“We are submitting those names of those areas, those restaurants, bars, and businesses that are not in compliance," Martell said. "We don’t think they should be at the first of the line to receive any kind of support or restitution during all of this.”

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