Local News

Most Sauk Valley nursing home staffs vaccinated at levels above the state average

One is above 90%, three are fewer than 50%

As of Oct. 3, one of 16 nursing homes in the Sauk Valley had 90% of its medical staff fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the National Healthcare Safety Network.

Citadel of Sterling reported that 90.82% of its staff was fully vaccinated, part of the data that nursing homes report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the NHSN system.

The weekly report was updated Friday with information current as of Oct. 3.

Nine were above the the state average of 68.71% of staff fully vaccinated: Heritage Health of Walnut (89.47%), Oregon Living and Rehab Center, (88.06%), Allure of Prophetstown (85.0%), Pinecrest Manor of Mt. Morris, (84.80%), Polo Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, (84.44%), Rock Falls Rehab and Healthcare, (82.86%), Heritage Square of Dixon, (80.53%), Resthave Home in Morrison, (74.79%), and Dixon Rehab (70.87%).

Six were below the state average, and of those, three had fewer than half: Franklin Grove Living and Rehab (55.88%), Pleasant View Rehab and HCC of Morrison (51.11%), Winning Wheels of Prophetstown (50%), Regency Care of Sterling (46.15%), Generations at Neighbors in Byron (43.8%), and Rock River Gardens in Sterling (42.42%).

ICU demand up

While there are instances in the state where transmission of the virus has eased — nearby Jo Daviess County was one of seven no longer experiencing high transmission — demand for ICU beds remains high in northwest Illinois.

As of Thursday, only 15 of the region’s 154 ICU beds were available.

Sauk Valley transmission figures

All four counties remain classified as areas of high virus transmission. Ogle County is at 5.03% with 217.21 cases per 100,000. Carroll County is at 3.99% with 160.78 cases per 100,000. Whiteside County is at 3.76% with 150.43 cases per 100,000 and Lee County is at 2.07% with 146.64 per 100,000.

Ogle school outbreaks

Three new outbreaks of the virus hit Ogle County schools. Central Elementary and Monroe Center Grade School each saw fewer than five cases, both traced to the classroom. Meridian K-12 had fewer than five, traced back to a shared bus ride.

On Friday, the IDPH said it would follow recommendations from the CDC and adopt new guidance for the definition of school outbreaks.

The new standard for pre-k to grade 12 school-associated outbreaks is recommended by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.

The new recommendation defines an outbreak as:

a) multiple cases comprising at least 10% of students, teachers or staff within a core group; or

b) at least three cases within a specified core group.

Examples of a core group might mean a classroom, sports team, performing arts group, or after-school care.

“The change in criteria will continue to identify outbreaks and help present further spread, but also help rule out outbreaks that are not associated with the school,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, IDPH director.

To be called an outbreak, the cases must meet criteria of a positive test result or the start of symptoms within 14 days of each other and the individuals must be close contacts and in the same place at the same time.

Youth cases

For the period of Oct. 3-9, Lee County had 23 youth cases, which is considered substantial in comparison to the total number of new cases at 60. Ogle County had 122 new cases, of which 53 were youth cases. Whiteside had 101 new cases, of which 26 were youth. Carroll had 42 new cases, of which nine were youth.

Breakthrough data

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported data on breakthrough cases — fully vaccinated people who get COVID-19 and require hospitalization – from January through Oct. 13: there have been 2,297 cases requiring hospitalization, representing 0.032% of fully vaccinated people, and ff that group, there have been 679 deaths, or 0.009%.

Troy Taylor

Troy E. Taylor

Was named editor for Saukvalley.com and the Gazette and Telegraph in 2021. An Illinois native, he has been a reporter or editor in daily newspapers since 1989.