(5-27-22) Effingham, IL – The Effingham County Health Department (ECHD) has received confirmation of three COVID-related deaths, individuals were in their 50s, and 70s; 2 of the individuals had not received any COVID vaccine and the third was not up to date with their vaccinations.

ECHD also announces 27 new cases of COVID have been reported from Friday, May 20 through Thursday, May 26. Over 70% of this week’s cases have never received any COVID vaccine, and a third of this week’s cases were also reinfections, and only one of those individuals was vaccinated.

This week’s 27 cases show a marked increase on previous weeks’ numbers: May 13 to May 19 there were 18 cases. May 6 to May 12 there were 15 cases, April 29 to May 5 there were 12 cases and the week of April 22 to April 28 there were 16. The Health Department is also receiving daily calls from people who have tested positive at home or who know they have been exposed to someone who tested positive on a home test. The proliferation of home tests means that we know our Confirmed numbers are very much an undercount. With cases rising in our county and around the state; we’d like to remind people of the steps they can take to reduce their risk of COVID. The more steps you use, the increased level of protection you are creating for yourself:

• Stay up to date with your COVID vaccinations and boosters.
• Avoid crowded indoor spaces
• If you do go into crowded indoor spaces mask up (KN95 mask are very effective and comfortable to wear).
• Ensure good ventilation indoors.
• Do a rapid test before large gatherings and a few days after.
• Stay home and test if feeling unwell.
• Socialize outdoors.
• Wash your hands.

Positive case demographics for this week are as follows: 3 females in their 20’s; 2 males in their 30’s; one male and one female in their 40’s; 3 males and 4 females in their 50’s; one male and 2 females in their 60’s; one male and 5 females in their 70’s; and one male and 3 females in their 80’s.

Whether you need a first dose of COVID vaccine 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 also reminds residents that free drive-through rapid Antigen Tests and PCR tests are normally 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. in the old oil change place in front of the Village Square Mall.

• No insurance is required for these free tests.
• This service is available to anyone seeking testing.
• For ages 5+.
• 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.

The Health Department and its COVID Testing Center will be closed on Monday, May 30 in honor of Memorial Day.

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

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