Winnebago Health Department: ‘Schools have to coexist with COVID’

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Dr. Sandra Martell, director of the Winnebago County Health Department, said “Schools will have to coexist with COVID” when they reopen this Fall.

Monday morning, teachers from across Winnebago County took to the streets of Rockford morning in a demonstration calling for school districts to adopt full-time remote learning this fall.

“We need to let Rockford and the surrounding areas know that many school personnel and students are afraid to return to school. We must consider the consequences if we are to return to in person instruction and an outbreak occurs. If teachers and students begin to get sick, it will prolong the COVID 19 outbreak and walk back the progress we have made. This will cause our community to suffer,” the teachers said in a statement.

“There will be waves [of outbreaks], but we want to make sure they are trickles,” Martell said. “While schools do the work behind the scenes, the teachers, the custodial and maintenance crew, the superintendents–all of them are doing their part but we need our families to do their part.”

Martell also warned residents to be vigilant when traveling to areas with a high infection rate of COVID-19.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker warned residents to be careful when traveling to other states — specifically Iowa and Missouri.

Wisconsin will soon be added to the City of Chicago’s emergency travel order, mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday. Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah are already on the list.

Martell said there were 11 new cases of coronavirus in Winnebago County, with a daily positivity rate of 3.9%. The county currently has a 96% recovery rate.

Lisa Brown, of the Rockford Mass Transit District, announced Monday that it will resume operation of its regular service schedule on Monday, August 3rd.

Fare collection will resume on Monday, August 10th.

The standard day service consists of 19 routes serving Rockford, Loves Park, Machesney Park and Belvidere between the hours of 5:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. At 6:15 p.m. weekday service transitions to the 6 night routes which run from 6:15 p.m. until 11:15 p.m. in Rockford only. The late night shuttles will also run between 11:15 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. providing transportation from downtown to final destinations along the night routes for late night passengers. Saturday routes will also return to the pre-COVID-19 service levels and Sunday service continues to remain unchanged.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara reminded people caught in a domestic violence situation can now seek help from the new Family Peace Center, at 779-348-7600.

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