(4-22-22) Effingham, IL – The Effingham County Health Department (ECHD) announces confirmation of three COVID-related deaths, individuals were in their 60s, 70s and 80s; only one individual was up to date with their vaccinations while another one had received no vaccinations at all.

ECHD announces 16 new cases of COVID have been reported from Friday, April 15 through Thursday, April 21. Last weeks numbers from April 8 to April 14 were 10 new cases.

Positive case demographics are as follows:The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has authorized certain immunocompromised individuals and people over the age of 50 who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19. Separately and in addition, based on newly published data, adults who received a primary vaccine and booster
dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

These updated recommendations acknowledge the increased risk of severe disease in certain populations including those who are elderly or over the age of 50 with multiple underlying conditions, along with the currently available data on vaccine and booster effectiveness.

Whether it’s your first dose or a booster dose, call the Effingham County Health Department on 217-342-9237 and choose the CLINIC option to speak to someone who can check your eligibility and book your appointment.

ECHD reminds residents that free drive-through rapid Antigen Tests and PCR tests are available Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and again from 2 to 3 p.m. at 1904 South Banker St. next to Wabash Tire in front of the Village Square Mall.

• No insurance is required for these free tests.
• This service is available to anyone aged 5+ seeking testing.
• No appointment or physician order required.
• Rapid results the same day.
• Rapid tests while supplies last.
• PCR results take 2-3 days.
• Drive-through
• There will be no testing on days the Health Department is closed.

For more information on testing call ECHD on 217-342-9237 and select COVID Testing.

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