Local health departments concerned about rising COVID-19 cases as school begins soon

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:52 PM CDT
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QUAD CITIES, (KWQC) - COVID-19 cases are quickly rising in the Quad Cities with the delta variant circulating. Local health officials say the percentage of all eligible people in the QC has stalled at about 52 percent.

“The week-over-week increase in Scott County was 55 percent, and it was 125 percent in Rock Island County,” says Amy Thoreson, Director of the Scott County Health Department. According to Thoreson, 211 positive cases have been reported in Scott County since the beginning of July. Of those, more than 180 cases have tested positive since July 13.

New CDC guidance recommends wearing a mask indoor public spaces in areas of substantial or high transmission.

“Both Scott and Rock Island counties are currently at the moderate transmission level, but case counts are rising quickly. Right now, this means the mask guidance for our community as a whole has not changed, but it could quickly if we don’t stem the rapid increases in infections on both sides of the river,” says Thoreson.

The concern is also growing around the beginning of the school year. The CDC is recommending masking for all students and staff at school regardless of vaccination status. Rock Island-Milan and United Township start classes next week.

“Other districts on both sides of the river start later this month, but make no mistake; with more indoor activities, the virus will spread quickly,” says Nita Ludwig, Administrator at the Rock Island County Health Department.

In a press conference Wednesday morning, Illinois Governor Pritzker said he is looking at options if cases continue to rise.

“I am looking at all the possible mitigations that we should consider. At the moment I want to be clear with everybody, wear your mask, but most importantly, get vaccinated,” Pritzker said. The governor said Illinois will follow CDC guidance with masking in counties with substantial or high transmission.

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