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Surging cases are ‘nearly unmanageable’ in the Quad Cities

Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 11:32 AM CST
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(KWQC) - Cases of COVID-19 are rising throughout the Quad Cities and health officials on Tuesday said the cases are “nearly unmanageable.”

Scott County Health Department Edward Rivers on Tuesday announced a Scott County resident between the ages of 61 and 80 had died from COVID-19. This brings the county total of deaths due to the virus to 52. The county has had a total of 6,890 cases of COVID-19.

“We share our deepest sympathy with the family of this individual,” Rivers said. “We are nervous about what our recent flood of cases will mean for increased illness, increased hospitalizations, and increased deaths in our community.”

In Rock Island County, health officials announced 131 new cases, including four infants, bringing the county total to 5,740. Additionally, there are 51 patients in the hospital currently due to COVID-19. The county’s total of deaths remains at 109.

Rivers, with the Scott County Health Dept. said the surging cases are “nearly unmanageable.”

“We have seen an explosion of cases over the last week or so that has both our departments quite concerned,” Rivers said. “In Scott County, recent case counts have been 200–350 per day. By comparison, there were only 321 cases in the entire month of June.”

Rivers said people are spreading the virus to family members and friends due to a lack of masks and social distancing. Rivers said this was told to their investigators.

“These numbers are what we would expect to happen when people aren’t taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus,” Rivers said. “This surge is challenging our ability to investigate cases in a beneficial timeframe.  At Scott County, we made the decision to hire additional contact tracers when daily cases were closer to 120 per day.  With the number of daily cases nearly tripling, we aren’t sure that plan is still viable. We are doing our best, but this surge is nearly unmanageable.”

On Tuesday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced additional health measures that would go into effect at midnight on November 11.

“We welcome these measures but require your help,” Rivers said. "We are asking all residents of our community to look deep and decide what more you can do. Distance. Wear your mask. Stay away from gatherings. Pay attention to your symptoms. And stay home and get tested if you have symptoms.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, health officials say the state is on the brink of more severe restrictions.

The Rock Island County Health Department Administrator, Nita Ludwig, said cases in the state of Illinois are also rising.

“The Illinois Department of Public Health announced more than 10,000 new cases each of the last five (confirm) days in the state,” Ludwig said. “In Rock Island County, we added more than 1,000 cases in November alone. Our positivity rate is an alarming 15 percent. Right now, Rock Island County and the rest of Region 2 are in Tier 1 mitigation – meaning there is no inside dining or bar service and groups are limited to 25 or 25 percent of room capacity, whichever is smaller. On Wednesday, three more regions in the state for a total of four go into Tier 2 mitigations, meaning groups are restricted to 10 or fewer. The change from Tier 1 to Tier 2 is based on metrics, including positivity rate. Our region is barreling toward Tier 2 status and likely will be there next week.”

Ludwig said if the positivity rates do not go down over two weeks of Tier 2 mitigations, the region would surge into Tier 3 mitigations.

“Those include suspending in-store shopping at non-essential retailers and indoor and outdoor recreational activities,” Ludwig said. “These mitigations should sound similar because this is what we lived under in March, April and May. And in another callback to earlier in the pandemic, just Monday Gov. Pritzker indicated that he might issue another stay-at-home order. The order went into effect March 21 and was lifted May 29. The stay-at-home order worked. When it ended, the state regularly added just a few hundred cases a day. During this time, Rock Island County reported zero cases a few days.”

Health officials in both counties are urging the importance of wearing masks, staying six feet between others and washing your hands. Additionally, staying at home as much as possible.

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