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Will County reports 606 new COVID cases

Total number of tested in Illinois surpasses 10 million

By Rex Robinson | 11/26/2020, 6 a.m.
The Will County Health Department on Wednesday reported 36,714 Coronavirus cases, an increase of 606 from Tuesday, while reported deaths ...

The Will County Health Department on Wednesday reported 36,714 Coronavirus cases, an increase of 606 from Tuesday, while reported deaths from the virus increased by one to 508.

All 11 COVID Regions of Illinois, have moved to Tier 3 mitigations, according to Illinois Department of Public Health officials.

The Test Positivity 7 Day Rolling Average in Will County remained at 19.6 percent for the week of Nov. 19, according to the IDPH. Available ICU beds within Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties) also are shrinking fast to 30 out of 162 as of Nov. 21, and 57 out of 137 total ventilators are available. More information about available hospital ICU beds and ventilators in Region 7 is available at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/hospitalization-utilization.

Joliet continues to have the highest number of cases in the county. According to the Will County Health Department, for the week of Nov. 9, the most recent data available, Joliet had 955 reported cases and a week earlier the city reported 535 cases. Plainfield had the second highest number in the county for the week of Nov. 9 with 620 cases, an increase of 217 from a week earlier.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported 685,467 statewide cases and 11,832 reported deaths from the virus. More than 10 million people in Illinois have now been tested for the virus, IDPH officials said.

Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox on Wednesday had 106 COVID patients and 105 of them were COVID-positive and one was under investigation for COVID., according to hospital spokeswoman Debra Robbins. Eighteen patients were in the hospital's ICU and another 10 were on ventilators, Robbins said.

"We still have bed availability and are able to care for the patients who come to the hospital needing our services," she added..

Silver Cross Hospital's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christopher Udovich said the best way to prevent illness is most obviously to avoid being exposed to the virus.

"If you’re going to interact with family over the holidays, keep it to a small group of nuclear family members," he said. "I would not recommend big social gatherings. I would keep it to immediate family. If someone could self-isolate before they come in from out of state to see you, that would be ideal. And remember to do everything we’ve been talking about throughout the pandemic, wash your hands; avoid close contact; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; wear a mask, even when immediate family members are present and particularly in public settings, and when around people who don’t live in your household -- especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Monitor your health daily. Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. If you’re feeling ill, stay home and contact your health care provider for further guidance.”

AMITA St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet had 78 COVID-19 positive inpatients and 46 people under investigation who were awaiting test results, according to AMITA Health spokesman Timothy Nelson.

Last week, Pritzker, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers joined together in a social media video to encourage everyone across the region to remain safe heading into the holiday season.

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Midwest Governors join to warn of COVID surge

Governors from the Midwest joined to create a video to warn of the COVID surge sweeping through the region and warned people to be extra cautious during the holidays.

Governors from the Midwest joined to create a video to warn of the COVID surge sweeping through the region and warned people to be extra cautious during the holidays.

“For eight months, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated American families everywhere. To fight this virus, governors across the country have listened to medical experts, stepped up, and worked around the clock to protect our families, the brave men and women on the front lines, and our small business owners. And no matter the action we take, we understand that our fight against COVID-19 will be more effective when we work together,” the governors said. “That is why this group of bipartisan governors is joining forces today to urge families across our region, and Americans everywhere, to do their part to protect themselves and their families from the spread of COVID-19. When it comes to fighting this virus, we are all on the same team.”

Do you plan to host or attend a large family gathering on Thanksgiving? Take The Times Weekly's online poll by clicking here:

http://thetimesweekly.com/polls/2020/nov/do-you-plan-host-or-attend-large-gathering-thanksg/results/?fbclid=IwAR2R87z_-pg_QngPv2coENL-P0ajutvvoqEMx6mnlN9VIhx-01qJVQurIWE

Over the past month COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed across the Midwest and medical experts are advising people not to host Thanksgiving with people from outside of their households. Together, the governors each addressed the families in their region on how they can protect their loved ones, the frontline workers, and small businesses owners from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Chris Udovich, Chief Medical Officer for Silver Cross stressed how important it is to take extra precautions. “Wash your hands often; avoid close contact by putting 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household; and everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household,” he said.

“Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks,” Udovich added. “If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection, then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Lastly, monitor your health daily. Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. If you’re feeling ill, stay home and contact your health care provider for further guidance.”

Pritzker said that “with nearly no mitigations in the states bordering us and no national strategy to reduce the spread,” Illinois is in for a “very difficult next few months.”

Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health recently announced additional COVID-19 mitigation efforts for Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties), Region 5 (Southern Illinois) and Region 8 (Kane and DuPage counties). These regions have continued to see rising positivity rates that far exceed the threshold set for establishing additional mitigation measures under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.

Region 5 has been under Tier 1 of the state’s resurgence mitigation plan since Oct. 22 and Regions 7 and 8 since Oct. 23, after seeing a seven-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8 percent or above for three consecutive days. However, the positivity rate has continued to significantly increase in these regions. All 11 regions are now at Tier 3 and are thus under additional mitigations, such as a tighter gathering cap of 10 individuals rather than 25 and new table caps of six rather than 10 when eating out. Click here for a the full list of Tier 3 mitigations https://dceoresources-ss-assets.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/public/Restore-Illinois/Tier-3-COVID-19-Resurgence-Mitigations.pdf