State Confirms 69th Local Death Wednesday

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The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported the 69th death in Montgomery County from COVID-19 on Wednesday, March 3, the second reported death in five days.

Locally, the Montgomery County Health Department reported 26 new COVID-19 coronavirus cases the first three days of this week, Feb. 28 through March 2. According to health department numbers, the county finished February with 232 new cases, the lowest total since last fall before the holiday surge.

As of Wednesday, Feb. 3, the Illinois Department of Corrections reported only four active cases at Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro–two among inmates and two among staff members.

After falling to as low as ten, the number of quarantines in the Hillsboro School District rose to 32 on Wednesday after a high school teacher and a kindergarten student tested positive.

Statewide, IDPH anticipates that the state will receive 83,000 doses of the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week. Unlike the currently available Pfizer and Moderna doses, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one shot and can be stored at much higher temperatures.  Like Pfizer and Moderna, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 100 percent effective in protecting recipients against death and hospitalization.

The vast majority of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine –more than 90 percent–will be distributed to mass vaccination sites throughout the state.  The remaining doses will be shipped to other providers across the state. Those doses are in addition to the approximate 288,000 doses the federal government allocated to Illinois this week.  This total does not include doses for the city of Chicago, which will receive its own allocation.

“As Dr. Fauci and many medical experts have pointed out time and again, we are so fortunate to have three effective vaccines that are proven to fully protect against death and hospitalization,” according to IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “The new Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be distributed for use at mass vaccination sites across the state, so that we are maximizing their capacity and getting as many eligible Illinoisans vaccinated as possible so that we can win the race against the new virus variants and end this pandemic.”

IDPH reported the seven-day statewide positivity rate from Feb. 24 through March 2 is 2.4 percent.

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