On the heels of an announcement by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker on July 22 that County leaders in Region 4 (Madison, St. Clair, Bond, Clinton, Montgomery, Monroe, and Randolph) need to get control of the positive COVID-19 cases in their counties before the state gets involved.
Madison County Chairman Kurt Prenzler got on the phone immediately. “I called all cities and mayors in Madison County urging them to persist in caution: hand-washing, social distancing and wearing masks where appropriate,” Prenzler said.
Positive cases for July 22 in Madison County reached a record 60 cases, over half of which were in persons under 30 years old. Deaths from COVID have decreased. Of the 71 deaths to date, only two deaths were reported in July. The most recent data shows two COVID cases in Madison County intensive care units.
“Our health department has done a great job,” Prenzler said. “The department focused on nursing homes, which have accounted for more than 80 percent of all deaths.”
As the result of businesses reopening and more social gathering, the positivity rate (the number of positive cases divided by the number of tests) has increased. “Most of the new cases are among younger people,” Toni Corona, Public Health Director said. “We want to remind everyone to be responsible and continue to follow the recommended protocol of hand-washing, social distancing and wearing masks.”
Prenzler encourages everyone to remember to practice the seven preventative measures outlined in the Recommended Guidelines for The Responsible Reopening Of Madison County released in May including 1) frequently wash your hands with soap and water, 2) avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, 3) avoid contact with sick people if possible, 4) cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, 5) clean and disinfect objects and surfaces, 6) ensure to maintain at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals and 7) stay home should you have a fever or otherwise feel unwell.
Should citizens not follow these guidelines and the region meets the resurgence criteria, a menu of mitigation options will be considered. Triggers that will lead to restrictions being put back in place include “(1) sustained increase in positivity rate AND A) sustained increase in hospital admissions OR B) reduction in hospital capacity threatening surge capabilities; OR (2) greater or equal than 8% positivity rate over three consecutive days.”