The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported both Jefferson and Clinton Counties are now considered to be at a warning level for novel coronavirus disease.
They are among 14 on this week’s list. Franklin, Perry, and Union Counties in Southern Illinois are also on the list in addition to Bureau, Cass, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Kane, LaSalle, Moultrie, and Will Counties in the central and northern part of the state.
State health officials say the counties saw cases or outbreaks associated with weddings, businesses, birthday parties, long-term care facilities, and other congregate settings, bars, sports camps, and spread among members of the same household. They also report seeing people in some communities not wearing masks, or if they are, they are being worn incorrectly. Local health departments are also finding it challenging to obtain the information necessary to halt local transmission, by quickly identifying exposures from contacts of cases and businesses.
Inconsistent messaging from local elected leaders are blamed for contributing to on-going transmission in some communities where there is little public concern for consequences or enforcement of social distancing, banning large gatherings, or quarantine/isolation orders.
Several counties are taking swift action and implementing mitigation measures to help slow the spread of the virus. Examples include increasing the availability of testing in their community and working with local businesses to educate and spot check mask-wearing and guideline adherence.
State Public Health Officials say the 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-Saturday of the prior week.
A map and information of each county’s status can be found on the IDPH website at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics.