PIKE: COVID rising in Pike; flu also problematic
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By BETH ZUMWALT
Since Dec.6, Pike County has reported 153 new COVID-19 cases. Of those cases, 25 have been persons under 10, 37 have been those 10-19, 14 persons in their 20s, 20 in their 30s, 17 in both 40s and 50s, 13 in their 60s, six in their 70 and two in both their 70s and 80s.
There has also been one death reported in Pike County in the last week.
Those numbers bring Pike County’s total to 3,065 COVID-19, lab confirmed and probable cases in Pike County residents have been reported to PCHD. Of those, 149 cases are active, with seven currently hospitalized and 67 COVID-19 related deaths reported.A probable case is defined as a direct household contact of a lab confirmed positive case who is exhibiting the same symptoms.As expected with the high numbers in the 20 and under categories, COVID-19 is having an impact on the county schools.Pleasant Hill has went to remote learning, effected Friday, Dec.10. They hope to be back in the classroom after the Christmas break, Jan. 3.“Between COVID and Influenza A, we had 33 percent of out students out last Friday,” Ron Edwards, superintendent, said. “We talked to the health department and decided to go to an adaptive learning schedule.Edwards said the decision was made about noon and school was to be dismissed at 1:30.“I can’t say enough about our teachers,” he said. “They mobilized and got stuff ready for the kids to take home. They were like a well oiled machine.By going to adaptive learning, the school had to withdraw from the North Green Spartan Classic, forfeiting the games they had left in the tournament.Pittsfield also had to cancel a game, scheduled for Saturday night with Jerseyville, because of illness. It has also affected the academics at the school. School will dismiss for the rest of the year at 2:45 to give teachers a chance to prepare homework and other supportive work for students out with illness or who are quarantined.“Positive case numbers are increasing at a pace that is making it difficult to provide in-person instruction and help students who are home due to isolation or quarantine,” Carol Kilver, superintendent, said. “Pikeland is offering multiple testing options to help student staying school and help inform families of their child’s health status. The goal is to stay open. Positive case numbers in the next 24 hours will influence how the days before break play out.”Western is also struggling with absences.“Last week we had anywhere from 93 to 174 students out, district wide,” Jessica Funk, superintendent of the district, said. “That is 18 to 35 percent of our enrollment.”Funk said anywhere between 121/174 students have been remote learning.“Monday, we tested 22 kids. If they test negative, they can come back to school, Wednesday,” she said. We tested 40 more Tuesday and if they are negative, they can return Thursday. This is the most we have ever had at one time. It is extreme.”Funk said the goal is to keep students in school.“The parents need kids in school and the kids need to be in school,” she said. “We know when the kids are in school, they are all safe, warm, we feed them. Some of them need to be in school more than others.”Kent Hawley of Griggsville-Perry said his school has avoided the colds, flu and COVID uptick.“We are averaging about four percent of our students and faculty being out on any given day,” he said.
Drive-thru COVID testing will be in a new location next week
The Pike County Health Department (PCHD) continues to offer free drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Pike-Scott Farm Bureau located at 1301 E Washington St. in Pittsfield. Testing will be offered Monday – Thursday from 9 a.m. – 1p.m. Please note that this testing is not a rapid test. Tests results will be available in two to three days. Participants will receive instructions via email on how to retrieve their results. If the participant does not have an email address, PCHD will call with positive results only. Follow posted signage to enter the testing site. Testing will be drive-thru. Please stay in your car. PCHD staff will gather necessary information for testing and oversee self-collection of the COVID-19 test. Results of the test will be available approximately 48-72 hours from test date. Beginning Dec. 20, the testing site will be moved to PCHD at 606 W Adams Street in Pittsfield Monday – Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Please follow signage for COVID testing. Participants will need to remain in their vehicle and park in the designated area. A staff member will come to your vehicle to administer the test. PCHD also provides free COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots. Clinics will be every Thursday in December, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the health department. Please go to www.pikecountyil.org for more information. The best way to prevent contracting COVID-19 continues to be socially distancing yourself, washing your hands, masking, and getting a COVID-19 vaccination per CDC recommendations