Winnebago County Board Chairman Joe Chiarelli contracts breakthrough COVID case

Statement released during health department press conference
Winnebago County Chairman Joe Chiarelli
Winnebago County Chairman Joe Chiarelli(WIFR)
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 5:54 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Winnebago County Board Chairman Joe Chiarelli shared his recent encounter with coronavirus in a statement Monday at the Winnebago County Health Department press conference. The chairman disclosed a positive COVID-19 test from Nov. 3.

Health experts consider this a breakthrough case, as the chairman was fully vaccinated.

“There’s a reason he felt comfortable and compelled to provide a statement today,” Mayor Tom McNamara said. “Please, take his words to heart. Be vigilant.”

Chiarelli’s statement explained that only mild symptoms presented at first, but later, he was admitted to the UW Health with COVID pneumonia. The COVID unit used oxygen and several medication treatments to improve Chiarelli’s condition.

Since, the chairman has been released from the hospital and is recovering back at his home. He is no longer COVID positive or symptomatic, but is operating on a reduced schedule while he regains his full strength.

McNamara said “Today, we are really talking to you because cases are dramatically surging in our area. Our healthcare workers are tired, our hospitals are getting overrun.”

The statement ended with Chiarelli’s thanks to the community for their thoughts and concerns during this time, and encouraged the public to be vigilant and stay safe during this holiday season.

“I am incredibly grateful for those folks who are on the very front lines of all of our healthcare systems. Everyone who’s part of this health care system that is keeping and working so tirelessly to keep us healthy. Let’s show them respect this Thanksgiving and show them how grateful we are by doing everything in our power to stay safe,” urged McNamara.

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