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ROCK FALLS – The Whiteside County Health Department is warning of a potential COVID-19 exposure Nov. 14 at the Whiskey Barrel Saloon.

An asymptomatic person who was there from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. that day later tested positive for the coronavirus.

With cases on the rise throughout the area, the health department is warning people that "every interaction carries risk" and is encouraging everyone to wear a mask, keep social distancing, stay home when sick, limit close contacts and follow the state's mitigation guidelines.

"Public releases typically do not need to be issued if individuals and businesses have followed CDC, IDPH, DCEO and local health department guidelines and know their close contacts," the department's Cory Law said in the release announcing the potential exposure.

"Unfortunately, a number of individuals are not doing what they can to protect our community," Law said.

"Instead, they have chosen to disregard recommendations around masking, social distancing, staying home when sick, as well as Phase 4 Guidelines and Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigation, and shown an unwillingness to work with the Health Department after testing positive or being exposed.

"As a result ... exposures and new cases continue to strain our local businesses,
schools, first responders, EMS systems, long-term care facilities and hospitals ... as they work to prepare for influenza season, all while dealing with staffing shortages due to employees becoming ill or having to quarantine after an exposure."

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