METNWS-10-08-20 COVID testing in Metro_PHOTO

Seventy-eight people were tested for COVID-19 Monday when Southern Seven Health Department hosted a drive-thru, mobile testing event at the S7HD Massac County Public Health Clinic in Metropolis. The free test was given regardless of symptoms, and no insurance or appointment was needed. Since September, S7HD has tested 460 people at its mobile sites. Illinois Department of Public Health and HR Support conducted the tests. S7HD will hold COVID-19 Mobile Tests events Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at its Union County Public Health Clinic on Lick Creek Road in Anna and on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at its Hardin County Public Health Clinic on Rt. 146 near Elizabethtown. For more information about COVID-19 testing, contact S7HD at 618-634-2297.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday, Oct. 1, reported 28 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19.

Massac County is among them.

According to Shawnna Rhine, Community Outreach Coordinator/Public Information Officer with the Southern Seven Health Department, being lax is part of the reporting

“People throughout the region aren’t following safety measures to reduce the spread and are gathering in larger numbers than recommended,” Rhine said. “We need everyone to follow the guidance of wearing a mask, watching their distance of 6 feet, washing hands and staying home when sick regardless if they or those around them are asymptomatic. These steps work, and need to be part of everyone’s routine.”

On Monday, Southern Seven confirmed 47 new cases of COVID-19 — including three in Massac — and 58 new recovered cases in its region. According to Southern Seven, there has been a cumulative total of 1,254 cases of COVID-19 in the region, with 25 deaths, since the start of the pandemic in the United States. There are currently 332 active cases in the region, which also includes Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Pulaski and Union counties.

A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase. Those indicators are:

• New cases per 100,000 people. If there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning.

• Number of deaths. This metric indicates a warning when the weekly number of deaths increases more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.

• Weekly test positivity. This metric indicates a warning when the 7-day test positivity rate rises above 8%.

• ICU availability. If there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region, this triggers a warning.

• Weekly emergency department visits. This metric indicates a warning when the weekly% of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.

• Weekly hospital admissions. A warning is triggered when the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like-illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.

• Tests performed. This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county.

• Clusters. This metric looks at the% of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increase in cases.

These metrics are intended to be used for local level awareness to help local leaders, businesses, local health departments, and the public make informed decisions about personal and family gatherings, as well as what activities they choose to do. The metrics are updated weekly, from the Sunday through Saturday of the prior week.

Other counties reported at a warning level are: Bond, Boone, Brown, Calhoun, Christian, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, DeKalb, DeWitt, Fayette, Greene, Hancock, Jasper, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Monroe, Morgan, Pulaski, Putnam, Richland, Saline, St. Clair, Wabash, Washington and Winnebago.

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