Grundy County provides COVID-19 update

Health Department to provide free vaccine clinics the next two Fridays, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5

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

Vaccination

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) data shows that approximately 57% of the eligible population (ages 12 and older) in Grundy are fully vaccinated, or 49.85% of our entire Grundy population.

As of Oct. 21, the CDC recommends a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in certain populations. For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at six months or more after their initial series:

• 65 years and older

• Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings

• Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions

• Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

Booster shots are also recommended for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.

Please visit cdc.gov for a complete list of applicable conditions and settings.

Examples of underlying medical conditions include, but are not limited to: cancer, chronic kidney, liver or lung disease, dementia, diabetes, Down syndrome, heart conditions, HIV infection, mental health conditions, overweight, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, cerebrovascular disease or substance use disorder. Clients are asked to self-attest that they are eligible.

Examples of high-risk settings include, but are not limited to: first responders, healthcare workers, congregate care staff, education and day care staff, those persons working for: food, grocery and agriculture, manufacturing, corrections, mail carriers, and public transit.

Walk-in clinics are scheduled for the following dates:

Friday, Oct. 29 and Friday, Nov. 5th from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Grundy County Administration Building, 1320 Union Street in Morris. All three vaccines available, as supplies last. Doses to be administered include first, second, third, and boosters.

Unless obtaining a 1st dose, vaccine record of previous doses administered must be presented.

Pediatric doses (children ages 5-11 years) are expected to be authorized and recommended in the coming weeks.

Local providers in Grundy County are communicating to determine a process that makes available vaccine to interested residents. More information is expected in the coming week.

Cases

To date, the total number of positive cases in Grundy is 7,428, with 86 residents who have passed away as a result of COVID-19 complications. Presently, the Grundy County Health Department is following 61 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 with week ending Oct. 16. Data made available by the IDPH lags by about one week. This dataset is updated each Friday, and so these figures were shared by IDPH on Oct. 22.

• New cases per 100,000: The number of new cases per 100,000 people in Grundy County last week was 159, down from 202 the previous week.

• Number of deaths: The number of deaths in Grundy County last week was two, the same number as the previous week.

• Test positivity percentage: The test positivity percentage in Grundy County last week was 3.7%, down from 4.5% the previous week.

• Tests performed: The number of tests performed in Grundy County last week was 2,474, down from 2,771 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 2.0%, down from 5.0% 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 0.0%, down from 1.3% the previous week.

• Intensive care unit bed availability: The percentage of ICU beds available in Grundy County last week was 13.7%, down from 17.1% the previous week.

According to the CDC, the level of community transmission for much of Illinois, including Grundy County, is high. Therefore, 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 (morrishospital.org) to learn the latest information about Morris Hospital hospitalizations, test positivity, testing locations and visiting guidelines. The hospital updates hospitalization and test positivity rate information each weekday at 10:00am, and includes details related to number of vaccinated and unvaccinated patients.

School Outbreaks

On Oct. 15, the CDC/IDPH updated the outbreak definition to be three cases, or 10% of a cohort, that are linked epidemiologically with respect to person, place, and time. In other words, the three cases have shared close contacts and location and have onsets within 14 calendar days of each other. Conversely, three 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 three or more (or 10%) 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.

School leadership may also make an instructional decision to offer remote learning for a cohort of students if the number of students who are ill or close contacts results in minimal in-person attendance. These decisions are made by looking at the specific case and evaluating available resources.

Grundy County currently has some small outbreaks identified (i.e. a classroom or sports team), 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, which are updated often.

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