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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
After enjoying low COVID-19 case numbers throughout much of the fall, Scott County Health Department (SCHD) data released Monday shows that the recent spike in cases in the county continues this week.
Weekly COVID-19 cases reported by SCHD, from Sept. 27 through Nov. 22, showed new cases each week only in the single digits. However, COVID-19 numbers spiked dramatically at the end of November, and they have only gone up, according to each of SCHD’s weekly reports on the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the county.
According to SCHD RN Meghan VanDeVelde, new cases have come from a combination of sources – both spread within households and in the community.
“This week we are seeing more of the cases related to inter-household positives such as mom, dad, and siblings that live in the same household as a positive case,” VanDeVelde said in an email last week. “There have also been a handful of community acquired cases, too.”
SCHD continues to administer the Moderna MRNA COVID-19 vaccine at weekly vaccine clinics.
The next vaccine clinic will take place at the SCHD building on Thursday, Dec. 30. Contact SCHD at (217) 742-8203 ahead of time to make an appointment for the vaccine clinic.
Scott County is not alone in seeing a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. Many communities across the state, including neighboring Pike County are also seeing elevated case numbers. Pike County Health Department is currently reporting dozens of new COVID-19 cases on a daily basis.
“The Pike County Health Department (PCHD) is reporting a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in Pike County during the month of December,” PCHD Director of Nursing Sharon Bargmann stated in a release on Tuesday. “In November, PCHD was notified of daily cases in the single digits and teens. This month, PCHD is being notified of daily cases in the 40s to 50s.”
Bargmann went on to say that the average age of those contracting COVID-19 has fallen sharply.
“November’s average age for COVID-19 cases was 38 years old,” Bargmann said in the same Tuesday news release. “So far in December, the average age is 33 years old.”
Because of an identified lack of free COVID-19 testing sites in west-central Illinois, PCHD is providing free COVID testing to residents, regardless of the county of residence.
Testing is conducted at the PCHD building located at 606 W Adams St. in Pittsfield. Testing will be offered Monday – Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Those seeking a COVID-19 test at PCHD are advised to follow signage for COVID testing. Participants are directed to remain in their vehicle and park in the designated area. A staff member will come to each vehicle to administer the test.
Test 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.
PCHD also provides free COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots to residents, regardless of their county of residence. Clinics are conducted every Thursday in December and January, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the health department. Visit www.pikecountyil.org for more information.