The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced three more COVID-related deaths in Montgomery County so far this week.
All three were females, according to IDPH, one in her 90s on Tuesday, and a woman in her 80s and another over 100 on Wednesday. With the three new deaths, 19 of the 41 lives claimed by the pandemic have been in the first three weeks of January.
Through the first three days of this week, the Montgomery County Health Department has announced 38 new confirmed coronavirus cases for a local positivity rate of 4.7 percent. As of Tuesday, Jan. 19, there have been 2,324 confirmed cases in Montgomery County since the pandemic began.
After peaking at over 500, the number of active cases at Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro continues to decrease. As of Wednesday, Jan. 20, the Illinois Department of Corrections reports 161 active cases among inmates and 19 among staff.
School district employees throughout Montgomery County will have the opportunity to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this Saturday at clinics at Beckemeyer Elementary in Hillsboro and also in Litchfield.
“A week ago, the increase in local cases of COVID had caused the number of students and staff on our quarantine list to increase to an all-time high of 220, most of those from out-of-school exposures,” Hillsboro Superintendent David Powell said. “Despite a few cases that occasioned additional school-related quarantines in the last week, the number of students and staff on our quarantine list decreased to 194 on Tuesday and 166 on Wednesday.”
Those who would like to be on the waiting list for the COVID-19 vaccine should call the health department at 217-532-2001 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., or email their name, age, and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free weekend COVID-19 rapid testing at Litchfield Family Practice Center continues. According to the health department, the antigen tests are available on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-3 p.m. or until 40 tests have been completed, whichever comes first. Testing is in a drive-through format or walk-in clinic, dependent upon the weather, and is first come, first served.
The health department cautions that a negative rapid test does not qualify a person for a shortened quarantine period under the new CDC guidelines.