SOUTHERN ILLINOIS – Twenty-six counties are currently reported at a warning level for COVID-19 in Illinois, including seven in southern Illinois.
According to a release from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Massac, Pulaski, Saline, and Union counties are all under the state’s warning level for the virus. A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 in the county, such as new cases per 100,000 people, number of deaths attributed to COVID-19, the weekly test positivity average, the number of tests performed or the number of weekly emergency room visits attributed to COVID-19 increase.
Although the reasons for counties reaching a warning level varies, some of the common factors for an increase in cases and outbreaks are associated with large gatherings and events, bars and clubs, weddings and funerals, university and college parties as well as college sports teams, family gatherings, long-term care facilities, correctional centers, schools, and cases among the community at large, especially those in their 20s.
Public health officials are observing businesses disregarding mitigation measures, people not social distancing, gathering in large groups, and not using face coverings.