ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County Health Department Director Dr. Sandra Martell said Winnebago County had 124 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and no additional deaths.
Alden Debes now has two new symptomatic COVID-19 residents. These residents have not been tested, but remain symptomatic. One staff member received a positive test result on Sunday, May 10th.
Martell said the high number of positive tests is due to WCHD working through a backlog of test results which were delayed. Those specimens were taken at the University of Illinois College of Medicine testing site.
She said the positive results account for 15.3% of the total tests performed in the past 24 hours, placing Winnebago County below the 20% threshold needed to move into Phase 3 of Gov. JB Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan.
The baseline averages are what authorities are watching to prevent a surge in cases which might overwhelm available healthcare resources.
Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney said 14.3 million people have become infected with the coronavirus worldwide, and 300,000 people have died.
Haney also said 36.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last 8 weeks, with 29,471 people unemployed in Winnebago and Boone counties. He also said 42% of jobs lost may disappear permanently, citing a recent study.
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara noted that the unity with which the community came together at the start of the panic “is starting to fracture and become political.”
He advised that the community needs to find middle ground between those who want all businesses open, and those who want to shelter in place to prevent spread of the disease.
“We all want to open. That’s why we’re talking to experts who have put their entire lives into their business. But we know allowing every single business to do their own thing would create chaos. We must rely on health experts for their guidance,” McNamara said.