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Weekly COVID Update

Colleen Lehmann,
Public Health Liaison
Douglas County Health Department

Hope you’re enjoying these beautiful summer days as much as I am. DCHD is keeping busy with COVID vaccination, testing, and outreach efforts. We continue to run appointment-based drive-thru vaccine clinics at our J600 location—current schedule (subject to change) J&J given Monday mornings, Pfizer Monday afternoons, and Moderna Thursday mornings. Yesterday we had 13 J&J recipients in the morning and this afternoon had 48 Pfizer recipients in the afternoon. To date, there are 16 folks scheduled for Thursday’s Moderna clinic. DCHD had a presence at last week’s Mo-Do Fair, and during that timeframe 19 COVID vaccinations were given on site.

According to the most recent IDPH statistics, 34.92 percent of Douglas County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the county’s 7-day rolling positivity rate stands at 1.7 percent as of July 16. That compares favorably within Region 6, which as a whole has a 2.7 percent positivity rate.

From July 1-18, Douglas County has had nine positive COVID tests, but on July 19 alone we processed four positive tests. This goes along with a worldwide uptick in cases as variants of the original COVID virus strain continue to be identified. Since the start of the pandemic the county has had 2,706 known cases, and 44 deaths. Testing for COVID at J600 is done Mondays-Thursdays 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and now Fridays by appointment. Call 217-253-4137 ext. 1225 to schedule.

A recent email from IDPH notified us there are six communities in Douglas County labeled “hot spots” due to low vaccination rates, meaning high vulnerability to COVID infections. They include Arthur and Murdock (rated 11), Camargo and Hindsboro (rated 10), and Arcola and Atwood (rated 9). Highest need (worst) rating possible is 12.

Encouraging vaccination and making it as accessible as possible remains one of DCHD’s highest priorities. We would like to come to each community not previously visited at least once to provide vaccines, and so far Atwood and Newman have expressed interest. Additionally, Arcola and Tuscola school districts are open to a vaccine clinic being held on or around the time of school registration. We encourage any other communities/school districts to contact DCHD about having a similar event if so inclined. DCHD is also working on having vaccine incentives from local restaurants and other businesses for vaccine recipients—will keep you posted as plans solidify. Arcola and Arthur school districts have expressed interest in doing on-site rapid testing for COVID when the 2021-22 school year begins, and our nursing staff is and will be working with them to get that implemented.

Thank you for your continued partnerships with DCHD, and please let us know how we can be of assistance. Have a great week!

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