ROCK FALLS, Ill. (KWQC) – Whiteside County will be added to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s list of counties in “Warning” on Friday, April 2, 2021, due to the high number of cases per 100,000 people.
This comes as new COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise. The county’s 7-day average positivity rate is now 7-percent, up from 3.1-percent at the beginning of March. It’s the highest positivity rate since the end of January. The warning label also comes as an increasing percentage of adults visit hospital emergency departments with COVID-19 symptoms.
In addition, IDPH has recently identified 2 COVID-19 variants among Whiteside County residents. The variants are B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the United Kingdom, and B.1.429 which was first detected in California. The variants can allow the virus to spread more easily, induce more serious illness, or reduce the effectiveness of vaccine or other treatments.
The increased transmissibility is of significant concern since approximately 84-percent of Whiteside County residents remain unvaccinated. County health officials say it serves as a reminder the importance of strictly adhering to recommended preventive measures, such as social distancing and masking.
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