Coronavirus

Lee, Whiteside counties see rise in COVID-19 cases across the week

Contact tracer Kathie Whalen scans in a vial from a tester Friday morning at Sterling High School. Because of the surge in positive COVID-19 cases, Sterling Public Schools is trying to hire additional contact tracers to take the burden off existing staff.

Coronavirus cases are continuing to increase in Lee and Whiteside counties.

Lee County remains at high risk for COVID-19 community spread, Whiteside and Ogle counties are at medium risk, and Carroll County is at low risk.

Whiteside County had 169 cases during the last 7 days, according to the most recent information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 data tracker Monday. There were 146 the week before.

The positivity rate for the last 7 days is at 12.3% from 11.11% and the case rate is 306.30 per 100,000 people. There were three new hospitalizations.

Lee County had 83 cases, compared to 75 cases the week prior and is at a 6.01% positivity rate, down from 7%. The case rate is 243.43 per 100,000 people, and there were three new hospitalizations.

Ogle County had 94 cases across the week compared to 102, with a positivity rate of 11.26%, up from 9.04%,. The case rate is 185.61 per 100,000 people, and there were five new hospitalizations.

Whiteside, Lee and Ogle counties are designated at medium risk for COVID-19 spread.

Carroll County, which is listed as low risk for COVID-19 spread, reported 25 cases, compared to 14 the previous week, and a positivity rate of 13.95%, from 14.29%.

In response to the heightened coronavirus risk level, Lee County Health Administrator Cathy Ferguson-Allen issued a statement Friday recommending that residents wear a mask while in public indoor settings regardless of vaccination status, avoid crowded indoor settings and stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

The CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors to protect those at high risk for severe illness from a COVID infection including adults older than 50, those with underlying medical conditions, and the immunocompromised; socializing outdoors if possible and avoiding poorly ventilated indoor settings; getting tested before attending a family or public event; contacting your doctor to get treatment for COVID if you are diagnosed, and getting any COVID-19 vaccine boosters that you are eligible for.

Illinois COVID-19 cases have been rising during the last few weeks, the highest levels of cases and hospitalizations since February.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.