Grundy County provides COVID update

Pfizer vaccines to be offered on courthouse lawn Saturday

MORRIS — The Grundy County Health Department provides information about vaccination efforts, cases, county and regional metrics.

Vaccination

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) data shows that approximately 55% of the eligible population (ages 12 years and older) are fully vaccinated, or 47.46% of the entire Grundy population.

Third Doses: People who are immunocompromised may consider obtaining a 3rd dose now. Included in the CDC’s recommendation are people with a range of conditions, such as recipients of organ or stem cell transplants, people with advanced or untreated HIV infection, active recipients of treatment for cancer, people who are taking some medications that weaken the immune system, and others.

Boosters: CDC does not yet recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time. Pfizer is expected to be the first vaccine authorized (under the Emergency Use Authorization) in the coming weeks.

Vaccination efforts continue through the Grundy County Health Department and local retail pharmacies.

Appointments for Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson are available each week through the Health Department.

Appointments may be scheduled by calling 815-941-3404.

A walk-up clinic in Morris is planned for this week, and available to residents of any county.

Additional clinic dates will be announced soon.

On Saturday, September 25, Pfizer vaccines will be available on the Grundy County Courthouse Lawn, 111 E. Washington St. in Morris. Walk-ins are welcome from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

For the Pfizer vaccine, you must be 12 years or older. If under the age of 14 you must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. If between the ages of 14-17, you must be accompanied by another adult and have a completed Minor Consent Form if a parent/legal guardian is not with you. Minor Consent Forms can be found on the Health Department’s website at grundyhealth.com.

Cases

To date, the total number of positive cases in Grundy County is 6,967, with 81 residents who have passed away as a result of COVID-19 complications.

Presently, the Grundy County Health Department is following 41 people who have recently tested positive and are in isolation, and each of their close contacts.

Grundy County, like most of Illinois, remains at an “orange” warning level this week, according to IDPH. Orange indicates there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the community. Below are the updated metrics for Grundy County.

• New cases per 100,000: The number of new cases per 100,000 people in Grundy County last week was 314, up from 277 the previous week.

• Number of deaths: The number of deaths in Grundy County last week was one, up from zero the previous week.

• Test positivity percentage: The test positivity percentage in Grundy County last week was 8.3%, up from 8.1% the previous week.

• Tests performed: The number of tests performed in Grundy County last week was 2,202, up from 2,015 the previous week.

• Emergency department visits for COVID-19-like illness: The percentage of COVID-19-like illness visits to the emergency department among adults in Grundy County last week was 5.6%, up from 5.5% the previous week.

• Number of COVID-19-like illness admissions: The number of COVID-19-like illnesses admitted to the hospital in Grundy County last week was fewer than five, the same as the previous week.

• Clusters: The percentage of cases that were caused by clusters in Grundy County last week was 0.8%, the same as the previous week.

• Intensive care unit bed availability: The percentage of ICU beds available in Grundy County last week was 16.9%, down from 18.3% the previous week.

According to the CDC, the level of community transmission for all of Illinois, including Grundy County, is high. Therefore, the CDC recommends that unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people continue to wear a mask in public indoor settings. It is also recommended that unvaccinated and vulnerable people consider avoiding crowded outdoor gatherings, or mask while in crowded outdoor spaces.

Residents may visit the Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers webpage at morrishospital.org to learn the latest information about Morris Hospital hospitalizations, test positivity, testing locations and visiting guidelines.

School Outbreaks

An outbreak is defined by IDPH as two cases that are linked epidemiologically with respect to person, place, and time. In other words, the two cases have shared close contacts and location and have onsets within 14 calendar days of each other. Conversely, two cases that occurred in different time frames (at least calendar 15 days apart), separate locations, and having no common source of exposure would not constitute an outbreak.

When positive cases are identified within a school setting, school leadership confers with Health Department staff. If two or more linked cases are identified, the Health Department instructs the school to follow the IDPH guidance as it relates to outbreaks, which may include quarantining of individuals associated with that space, recommended testing of persons in that space but greater than 6 feet of distance, and/or closure of a classroom/other space.

Grundy County currently has several small outbreaks identified (i.e. a classroom or bus), but no entire school or district is presently in outbreak status. School outbreak information may be found at dph.illinois.gov. Grundy County Health Department and local school districts continue to follow IDPH and ISBE decision trees and other guidance documents.

Additional information related to school outbreaks or potential exposures associated with schools across Illinois may be found at dph.illinois.gov/covid19/school-exposures.