Winnebago County ‘at risk’ of coronavirus surge going in to Labor Day weekend

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County Health Department Director Dr. Sandra Martell is warning that Winnebago County is at risk for a coronavirus surge going into the Labor Day weekend.

Martell said the county is currently at a 6% testing positivity rate, which is 2% away from the redline 8% which Gov. JB Pritzker says will trigger automatic restrictions, which include the shutdown of indoor service at bars and restaurants, and a limit on gatherings to less than 25 people.

“There are several states that are at risk for surging, namely North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois,” Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview this week.

The State has already applied these restrictions to Regions 4 and 7, being the Metro East St. Louis area and Will and Kane counties.

Martell said since moving into Phase 4 of the Governor’s Restore Illinois plan, 500 complaints have filed with coronavirus hotline regarding businesses not complying with the face mask mandate.

As of August 7th, the executive order required that all persons over 2-years-old wear a face mask when in indoor settings.

“A surge also puts schools at risk for moving to all-remote learning,” Martell said.

She advised that over the Labor Day weekend, families should not hold large gatherings, and advised against encouraging college students to return home.

Some Rockford residents, including Tieru Yan, say they’re changing their holiday routines because of the pandemic. Yan says he usually looks forward to hosting a party for Labor Day, and is disappointed he had to cancel this year.

“Every year, so many of my friends and family members will come to my home and we will celebrate the vacation times. Definitely, we have a lot of fun,” Yan said. “Unfortunately, this year, this who pandemic situation, so really, it is so boring, just sitting at home.”

Others, like Sonya Close, says COVID-19 won’t impact her plans. “I’m tired of being cooped up. Not really concerned with it. It’s not as big of a deal as it was in the beginning, I guess. So, we’re just not too concerned with it at this point,” she said.

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