Coronavirus | Sauk Valley

Sauk Valley area at lowest COVID-19 risk level in months

After providing the sample and having it scanned, a vial is placed in a holder during COVID-19 Shield Illinois testing at Sterling High School.

Whiteside and Lee counties are at their lowest coronavirus risk levels in months.

Whiteside County is at low risk for community spread and Lee, Ogle and Carroll counties are at medium risk.

Whiteside County had 90 cases during the past seven days, according to the most recent information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 data tracker Monday. There were 130 cases the week before.

The positivity rate for the last seven days is at 6.64% from 10.03%, and the case rate is 163.12 per 100,000 people. There were four new hospitalizations.

The Whiteside County Health Department began offering the updated bivalent COVID-19 booster shots last week.

Lee County had 52 cases, compared with 74 cases the week prior and is at a 5.9% positivity rate, from 10.7%. The case rate is 152.51 per 100,000 people, and there were four new hospitalizations.

“For the first time in months, the Lee County community level of COVID-19 has decreased from high to medium,” the Lee County Health Department said Friday. “If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions. Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Get tested if you have symptoms.”

Ogle County had 71 cases across the week compared with 111, with a positivity rate of 7.67%, from 13.13%. The case rate is 140.20 per 100,000 people, and there were six new hospitalizations.

Carroll County reported 30 cases, compared with 35 the previous week, and a positivity rate of 21.43%, from 14.89%.

In high transmission areas, residents should 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, according to the CDC.

The CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors to protect those at high risk for severe illness from a COVID-19 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-19 if you are diagnosed and getting any COVID-19 vaccine boosters that you are eligible for.

Flu vaccine

Beginning Tuesday, the Whiteside County Health Department will be offering high dose quadrivalent influenza vaccine will be available for individuals age 65 and older.

Individuals 65 years of age and older are at increased risk for developing serious complications from flu when compared with younger, healthy adults.

During most flu seasons, this group of individuals account for the majority of flu related hospitalizations and deaths with approximately 70% to 85% of flu related deaths and 50% to 70% of flu related hospitalizations occurring among this age group.

High dose influenza vaccines are specially designed to help boost immune response and provide additional protection for this age group.

COVID-19 vaccines and boosters can be administered at the same time and you do not need to wait if you have already received one to get the other. Individuals interested in COVID-19 vaccine or booster can schedule an appointment by visiting Vaccines.gov.

Those interested can walk in the department from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the vaccine.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

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