Another wave coming? Morgan, region mark 19 virus deaths as worries mount of post-holiday case rise

Health officials are warning of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases during the next few weeks as a follow-up to recent Thanksgiving gatherings.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said during a Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week” that he expects the number of coronavirus cases to spike during the next several weeks.

Sharon Bargmann, director of nursing and public information officer at Pike County Health Department, agreed.

“If people are having large gatherings, then of course there will be a surge,” Bargmann said.

While the surge the region has been seeing for the past few weeks has trickled off a little in Pike County, Bargmann said, she warned that another surge is not out of the realm of possibility.

It all depends on whether people have paid attention to the mandates sent out by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, she said.

Since Pike County has not paid attention to mitigation strategies in the past, a new surge wouldn’t be unexpected, she said.

The best way to prevent one at this point is to pay attention, Bargmann said.

“Pay attention to your symptoms,” she said. “Something as simple as what someone may think as a common cold or sinus infection, things like that, may be COVID.”

Health officials spent weeks before Thanksgiving encouraging people not to have large gatherings and to take precautions, and some people did, Greene County Health Department administrator Molly Peters said.

“If larger gatherings did occur, we would expect to see case numbers increase in illness,” she said.

In Greene County, they’re seeing a decrease in new cases after increased mitigation efforts began statewide Nov. 20, Peters said, calling it a good impact from the mitigation.

Greene County hospitals still are seeing a surge, but the overall infection rate seems to be heading the right direction, she said, crediting people who took extra precautions and preventive measures.

For now, any Thanksgiving fallout is a case of wait and see.

“We won’t know if there were large gatherings or case increases for several weeks,” Peters said. “We won’t see the impact of that for at least four weeks.”

With most west-central Illinois county health departments closed for the holiday last last week, statistics reported Monday showed a significant increase in new coronavirus cases and 19 deaths — 10 in Sangamon County, eight in Morgan County and one in Cass County.

Greene C0unty previously reported five coronavirus deaths during the weekend.

Total cases in west-central Illinois counties as of Monday, according to individual county health departments, were:

Brown County

322 total, 212 recovered, three deaths

Two new cases: boy in his teens, man in his 50s.

Cass County

1,001 total, 822 recovered, 24 deaths

54 new cases since Wednesday: one boy under age 10; one boy in his teens, four girls in their teens; two men in their 20s, eight women in their 20s; four men in their 30s, 10 women in their 30s; six men in their 40s, three women in their 40s; one man in his 50s, four women in their 50s; one man in his 60s, three women in their 60s; two men in their 70s, three women in their 70s; one man in his 80s; one death, that of a 77-year-old man.

Greene County

844 total, 706 recovered, 34 deaths

19 new cases

Jersey County

1,272 total, 1,010 recovered, 22 deaths

63 new cases

Macoupin County

2,336 total, 765 recovered, 23 deaths

156 new cases since Wednesday

Morgan County

2,254 total, 1,862 released from restrictions, 48 deaths

121 new cases since Wednesday: one boy, one girl; four teenage boys, one teenage girl; five men in their 20s, 11 women in their 20s; five men in their 30s, nine women in their 30s; 10 men in their 40s, seven women in their 40s; 12 men in their 50s, eight women in their 50s; 12 men in their 60s, 10 women in their 60s; four men in their 70s, four women in their 70s; three men in their 80s, six women in their 80s; two men in their 90s, six women in their 90s; and eight deaths: that of a man in his 50s who was a prisoner at Jacksonville Correctional Center; a man in his 70s; a woman in her 70s who was part of a long-term care facility outbreak; a man in his 80s; and four women in their 90s who were part of a long-term care facility outbreak.

Pike County

1,009 total, 849 recovered, 26 deaths

42 new cases since Wednesday: two girls under 9, one boy under 9; one teenage girl, one teenage boy; two women in their 20s, two men in their 20s; one woman in her 30s, two men in their 30s; three women in their 40s, three men in their 40s; four women in their 50s, six men in their 50s; four women in their 60s, three men in their 60s; three women in their 70s, two men in their 70s; two men in their 80s.

Sangamon County

10,201 total, 5,285 recovered, 101 deaths

774 new cases since Wednesday, 10 deaths: that of a woman in her 60s, a woman in her 70s, a man in his 70s, three women in their 80s, a man in his 80s and three women in their 90s.

Schuyler County

243 total, 172 recovered, one death

Scott County

235 total, 191 recovered

Statewide, 6,190 new cases of coronavirus disease and 85 deaths were reported Monday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

There have been 726,304 cases and 12,278 deaths in Illinois.

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