“STARK COUNTY AT WARNING LEVEL FOR CORONAVIRUS DISEASE”
The Stark County Health Department is alerting residents that as of Friday, April 9, 2021, our Stark County-Level COVID-19 Risk Metrics have been moved to orange. Orange status indicates there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county.
These metrics are intended to be used for local level awareness for each county’s progress during Phase 4 and will help local leaders, businesses, local health departments, and the public make informed decisions and promote healthy behaviors. Individuals, families, and community groups can use these metrics to help inform their choices about personal and family gatherings, as well as what activities they choose to do.
Stark County COVID-19 cases are on the rise. As of April 8, 2021 we had a total of 581 confirmed and probable positive cases. Since April 1, 2021 when we stood at 555 cases; Stark County is up 26 cases in a week’s time.
In addition, per the county-level risk metrics provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health: * Stark County new cases are above the 50 mark or more new cases per 100,000 people; as of today we stand at 221 new cases per 100,000; and Stark County’s weekly positivity rate stands today at 12.4% over the State’s 8.0% metric trigger mark. The latest seven-day rolling test positivity rate is 22.2% for Stark County.
Duane Stevens, Henry & Stark County Public Health Administrator states, “It is important our area understand how easily COVID-19 is actively spreading. Stark County is experiencing community spread of the virus, meaning that some people testing positive for COVID-19 are not able to pinpoint when or where they may have become infected. This is happening all over the county, not one particular area or town.”
Stevens adds, “We have seen instances of general masking non-compliance by some individuals, businesses, and groups in congregate settings which can lead our current infection numbers. Contact tracing staff members have noted that they are often challenged in their efforts by some cases not being honest in disclosing all their close contacts. We have also seen a lag and delay in seeking testing by individuals with symptoms; as they are attributing them to other maladies such as allergies, stomach flu, sinus infections, etc.”
Another concerning trend, the high percentage of cases being identified in those 29 years and younger. The Health Department wants to remind young people, the COVID-19 pandemic is not over and it continues to be a serious public health threat. Young people can easily become infected with COVID-19, not experience symptoms and then pass the virus to others more at risk. Those who choose not to wear a mask or disregard the importance of social distancing are putting their parents, grandparents, co-workers, and community at risk.
The Health Department and the Henry County Office of Emergency Management are encouraging everyone to do their part and continue to recognize the role they play in helping Stark County slow the spread of COVID-19. We remind local residents, employers, and businesses to note the rising Covid-19 cases numbers and please follow the current Covid-19 mitigation measures of Getting a Covid-19 Vaccination if you are 16 years of age and older; wear a face mask when in public, observe social distances of 6ft, avoid congregate settings, wash and sanitize your hands frequenting. To get registered for a Covid-19 Vaccine go to www.henrystarkhealth.com for “open” and “coming” clinic registrations.
Face coverings are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and are one of the best prevention tools available to the public at this time. As a result, all businesses, service facilities or organization open to the public shall require employees, customers, and other individuals on the premises who are over age two to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when on premises and unable to maintain at least a six-foot social distance. Additionally, gatherings of more than 50 people (or gatherings of 50% or more of a building’s maximum occupancy) are prohibited unless exempted by law or Executive Order. To report places of business or organizations violating these mitigation actions: Call the Pandemic Compliance Hotline for Henry & Stark Counties at (309) 883-5057; or send an email to COVID@EMA-HC.com
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Henry/Stark County Health Department 110 N. Burr Blvd. Kewanee, IL61443 309-852-0197
Colona Office 103 1st St. Colona, IL61241 309-792-4011