Grundy County provides COVID-19 update

Information released about vaccination, cases, mitigation and testing

MORRIS – The Grundy County Health Department provided information Monday in a news release about vaccination, cases, mitigation and testing.

Vaccinations (as of Feb. 21)

• Total number of doses received in Grundy: 6,540

• Total number of doses administered in Grundy: 6,400

Residents are advised that when reporting total doses, the health department does not distinguish between first and second doses. All received doses have been allocated to use within the coming days.

• Total number of doses administered to Grundy residents: 7,154

• Total number of Grundy residents fully vaccinated: 1,828

• Percent of Grundy population fully vaccinated: 3.59%

Grundy County residents may be vaccinated in counties outside of Grundy, depending on vocation and other factors.

Anyone eligible to receive the vaccine as part of Phases 1a or 1b who lives or works in Grundy and is interested in vaccination may visit www.grundyhealth.com to complete an interest survey. As of this week, the health department has been contacting residents who completed the survey on or before Jan. 14. Beyond that, staff cannot yet schedule appointments, as the health department is unsure of its allocation from the state. Over the next several months, as vaccine supply becomes available, health department staff will be reaching out via email or phone to schedule an appointment. The email will come from Grundy Health Department Vaccine Information.

Because there is more demand than supply of vaccine, it may take several months for all residents eligible in Phase 1b to be vaccinated.

Weekly, each local health department is provided a maximum allowable allocation by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The Grundy County Health Department consistently requests the full allocation. With the aid of many volunteers and partner organizations, vaccines are administered safely and efficiently.

The health department has been directed to not hold on to any vaccines for second doses, and the IDPH has regularly shipped second doses. Following are the weekly allocations of first doses scheduled to be delivered to Grundy County:

• Week of Feb. 22: 400 Moderna vaccine doses

• Week of March 1: 400 Moderna vaccine doses

• Week of March 8: 800 Moderna vaccine doses

Local retail pharmacies in Grundy County recently have started to receive vaccine doses and administer them to residents by appointment.

Vaccine supply for retail pharmacies is coming directly from the federal government, not the IDPH. Vaccine supply remains limited for retail pharmacies as well, and appointments are coordinated through the corporate website. Such pharmacies include Walgreens and Jewel-Osco. Pharmacy appointments are not restricted to residents within a certain county or city. Pharmacies may ask for a copy of a health insurance card, as it is permissible to bill for the administration of the vaccine (but not the vaccine itself).

The health department advises residents to remain vigilant to the potential scams that are circulating related to vaccine appointments. No provider should ask for credit card information. Those who are unsure if a phone call or email is legitimate should contact the provider (pharmacy or health department) via phone to confirm the appointment request.

The health department asks the community to be patient as it works through the phases. There are more questions than answers, and it may take a very long time for staff to return phone calls.

The best way to obtain current information is to tune in to WCSJ each Monday and Thursday at 8:40 a.m. for updates related to vaccine distribution, visit www.grundyhealth.com or follow the health department’s Facebook page.

Cases

The total number of positive cases in Grundy County, as processed by the health department, is 4,327 persons, and 46 residents have died from COVID-19 complications: four males in their 60s, one female in her 60s, eight males in their 70s, five females in their 70s, eight males in their 80s, 11 females in their 80s, three males in their 90s, five females in their 90s and one female older than 100.

The Grundy County Health Department currently is following 236 people who have tested positive and are in isolation, along with each of their close contacts.

Mitigation

County: Grundy County remains at an “orange” warning level this week, according to the IDPH. Orange, a reference to the colors used to denote COVID-19 activity within counties on the IDPH’s map of the state, indicates that there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the community. The IDPH uses numerous indicators when determining if a county is experiencing stable or increasing COVID-19 activity. Below are the updated metrics for Grundy County:

New cases per 100,000 people: If there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the county, a warning is triggered. In the past week, there were 243 new cases per 100,000 people in Grundy County, down from 249 the previous week.

Number of deaths: This metric indicates a warning when the weekly number of deaths increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks. In the past week, there were three deaths in Grundy County, down from five the previous week.

Weekly test positivity: This metric indicates a warning when the seven-day test positivity rate rises above 8%. In the past week, the positivity rate in Grundy County was 8.6%, up from 8.2% the previous week.

Tests performed: This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county. In the past week, 1,724 tests were performed in Grundy County, down from 1,736 the previous week.

Weekly emergency department visits: This metric indicates a warning when the weekly percent of emergency department visits for COVID-19-like illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks. In the past week, 4.2% of the emergency department visits in Grundy County were for COVID-19-like illness, up from 3% the previous week.

Weekly hospital admissions: A warning is triggered when the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks. In the past week, there were five hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness, up from fewer than five the previous week.

Clusters: This metric looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increases in cases. In the past week, none of the cases in Grundy County was associated with a cluster for the second straight week

Intensive care unit bed availability: A warning is triggered if fewer than 20% of ICU beds are available in the region. In the past week, 30% of Grundy County’s ICU beds were available, up from 28% the previous week.

Testing

Testing is available throughout the county through local hospital systems, and protocol at each location is subject to change based on availability of resources. Mobile testing units organized by the IDPH also are available throughout the region. Residents seeking testing may consider visiting the dph.illinois.gov to learn about mobile and community-based testing sites throughout Illinois.